French perfume gave European investors a boost for the second day running Tuesday as M&A in the luxury goods sector and the easing tensions over the ongoing French election left investors in an upbeat mood.
Markets received an added boost from renewed talk of tax reform in Washington as well as action on perceived unfair trading practices among neighbours.
The FTSE 100 rose by 0.15% in London to close at 7,275. Germany's DAX index was ip by 0.10%, to 12,467, for the session while the CAC 40 gained 0.17% in France to close at 5,278.
Southern European stocks also saw noteworthy gains with the FTSE MIB in Italy rising by more than 0.5% and the IBEX in Spain adding close to a quarter percent.
Banks were a common theme after performing strongly for a second day running as investors bet on an Emmanuel Macron victory in the second round of French elections in just under two weeks time. The presidential favorite will face off against anti-establishment candidate Marine Le Pen in the second and final vote on May 7.
Barclays (BCS) - Get Barclays PLC Sponsored ADR Reportand Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) - Get Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc Sponsored ADR Report were the big winners in the U.K while BNP Paribas (BNPQY) and Societe Generale (SCGLY) posted further gains in Paris. UBI Banca (BPPUF) and Intesa Sanpaolo (ISNPY) were the biggest risers on the FTSE MIB in Italy.
London also benefited from a strong day for commodity markets, with most metals futures rising during the London session, helping mining companies like Glencore (GLNCF) to rise close to the top of the FTSE 100 blue chip index.
But the top spot went to generic drugmaker Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HKMPY) , which topped the index after a German healthcare firm Fresenius SE & Co KGaA (FSNUF) signaled that it is moving onto the field with two acquisitions, which helped Hikma outperform the wider pharma sector for the session.
LVMH (LVMUY) rose to the top of the CAC 40 index in Paris after it emerged that the fashion house is set to buy the iconic Christian Dior (CHDRF) brand following a $13 billion deal to gain control of the quarter stake that it did not already own. The shares were up by more than 4% ahead of the close.
In Frankfurt, Fresenius fell close to the bottom of the DAX after it said it will splash $4.3 billion of cash to buy American generic drugmaker Akorn (AKRX) - Get Akorn, Inc. Report and the biosimilars arm of Germany's Merck KGaA (MKGAY) . The shares were down by around 1.48% shortly ahead of the close.