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European Stocks Rise Amid Mixed Economic Data

Stocks in this article: RIO BHP

LONDON ( The Deal) -- European stock markets rose on Tuesday, as investors focused on the good news within a mixed clutch of economic data, even as German unemployment unexpectedly increased.

In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.49% at 6,775.17. In Frankfurt, the DAX was up 0.24% at 9,857.05. The CAC in Paris rose 0.56% to 4,447.73. Indices built on the quarter-on-quarter rise they posted despite recent volatility in the three months ended on Monday.

Markit Economics' purchasing managers' index for the U.K. unexpectedly rose in June, putting it at the highest level in seven months. The same index, which is a closely watched gauge of manufacturing, slipped in the eurozone, though remained above the 50 threshold that signals expansion.

In China, the index, which Markit compiles in that market in conjunction with HSBC Holdings, rose to a six-month high.

Meanwhile, the eurozone unemployment rate in June held steady at 11.6%, defying expectations it would climb to 11.7%. The German rate held at 6.7% but the ranks of jobless in Europe's largest economy unexpectedly rose by 9,000.

In Paris, BNP Paribas staged a relief rally after accepting a near-$9 billion fine for U.S. sanctions violations. France's leading bank surprised investors by promising to hold its 2014 dividend unchanged from last year despite its troubles. It said it can absorb the fine without major restructuring measures.The shares were up almost 4% by late morning.

In London, the world's leading miner, Rio Tinto (RIO), led peers including BHP Billiton (BHP) and Anglo American higher, thanks to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgrade.

Security and facilities services provider G4S rose after analysts at UBS initiated coverage of the company with a buy recommendation.

Regeneration specialist St Modwen Properties was up almost 5% after reporting half-year results that showed pretax profit had increased 32%. The company said it is increasing its development pipeline as the economy recovers.

But in Frankfurt infrastructure and engineering services company Bilfinger sank almost 16% after it warned that 2014 net profit could fall as much as 10%. It said energy suppliers are holding back investment in power infrastructure both in Germany and other central European countries. It also said it will take an as-yet-unspecified restructuring charge in the second half to pay for cost cuts at its power business and industrial business.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei closed up 1.08% at 15,326.20 as the country's Tankan index of business confidence suggested government policies are stoking growth.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 0.13% to 23,190.72.

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