European Stocks Get Lift From Positive Earnings

LONDON (The Deal) -- European stock indices rose on Tuesday after a string of predominantly positive earnings reports with large-cap companies including Deutsche Bank (DB) and Norway's Statoil (STO) among the gainers. In Finland, Nokia (NOK) spelled out how it will use the funds from its $7.5 billion handset sale to Microsoft (MSFT) and named its new CEO.

In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.53% at 6,735.37 by mid-morning. In Frankfurt, the DAX climbed 0.63% to 9,506.30 and in Paris the CAC 40 was up 0.05% at 4,462.80.

In the U.K., the government's statistics office said first-quarter GDP expanded 3.1% year-on-year, the fastest annual growth rate in more than six years but slightly below consensus expectations, providing comfort that the Bank of England won't raise rates just yet. The economy expanded 0.8% from the previous quarter.

In the eurozone, a gauge of eurozone economic sentiment, as measured by the European Commission, unexpectedly deteriorated in April.

But the markets focal point this week is the Federal Reserve, which begins a two-day policy meeting Tuesday and may announce a further cutback to its monthly bond buying program.

In Helsinki, Nokia rose more than 7% after the company announced that insider Rajeev Suri will replace Stephen Elop as CEO after Elop returned to former employer Microsoft on the completion last week of the $7.5 billion sale of Nokia's handset unit to the Redmond, Wash., software giant.

The Finnish company, which is focusing on the networking equipment business that Suri previously headed, also announced it will return more than 3 billion euros ($4.2 billion) to shareholders through buybacks and a dividend as it released first-quarter results.

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