European Markets Close Higher as Econ Data Highlight Divergence in U.S. Fortune

European stock markets rose Tuesday as mixed economic data eased fears over waning central bank support for continued stimulus.

Real estate also helped buoy markets on earnings and deal-related news flow that appeared to suggest the sector can weather the challenges that have been thrown at it in recent months.

Meanwhile, oil stocks were an added source of gains as Brent crude added more than 3%, to $46.24, on speculation OPEC could move to cut output.

The biggest risers among indices for the session were found in London, with the commodity and real estate-heavy FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 outstripping their counterparts to gain 0.6% and 0.5%, respectively. The FTSE 100 closed at 6,792.7 and the FTSE 250 settled at 17,573.1.

Over on the continent, France's CAC 40 gained 0.5% and the German Dax rose by 0.2%, coming to rest at 4,536.8 and 10,735.4, respectively. The Stoxx Europe 600 index, the broadest measure of European stocks, closed 0.2% higher, at 339.2.

Currency markets were volatile throughout the session as traders responded to a renewed tale of diverging fortunes between the European economies and the U.S.

The pound fell against the dollar throughout the session, to change hands at 1.2416, around the time stock markets closed. The euro lost ground from early afternoon onward as the market responded to stronger-than-expected retail sales data from the U.S., to around 1.0736 at the close.

Adding to the respective woes of both currencies was mixed economic data.

U.K. consumer price inflation was much lower than forecast for October. However, it could pay to bear in mind that producer prices rose more than the consensus had penciled in, suggesting that price pressures are building but manufacturers and retailers are yet to fully pass them on to consumers.

German economic growth also slowed by more than was expected during the third quarter, easing from 0.4% to just 0.2%.

Fixed income markets rose in response to the day's economic news, pushing down yields across the continent. U.K. Gilt yields dropped close to 30 basis points, to around 1.26%. The German Bund yield shed about 10 basis points, to 0.31%, and the French Tresor yield fell by around 50 basis points, to 0.73%.

Among individual stocks, Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HKMPY) was the biggest gainer among large caps, up close to 10%. The generic drug maker cut full-year sales forecasts by 10% last week, prompting a sharp drop in the shares, only for them to stage a recovery on Tuesday.

easyJet (EJTTF) , the budget airline, was the second biggest riser as management sounded an optimistic tone in its full-year results update and investors bet it has now seen the worst of what is to come. The stock was up more than 4% Tuesday.

Among mid-market companies, Tullow Oil (TUWLF) and construction materials firm Polypipe were the biggest gainers. Tullow benefited from strong gains in the oil price and Polypipe stock was buoyant on stronger-than-expected results, as well as a reassuring tone from management on the subject of Brexit.

In France, Total (TOT) and Technip (TKPPY) topped the board among gainers on the CAC 40, both rising more than 3% in response to price action in crude markets. These were followed closely by commercial property firm Klepierre, which was a beneficiary of easing concerns over the withdrawal of stimulus and news of a resilient commercial property market in London (Land Securities).

In Germany, Adidas (ADDYY) and Deutsche Lufthansa (DLAKY) were the biggest gainers. Adidas rose by 3.4% and was quite possibly one of the largest buyers of its own shares, after the company announced last week that it will resume a €300 ($420 million) million buyback over the coming days. RWE (RWEOY) , E.ON (EONGY) and real estate firm Vonovia (VONOY) also added notably to gains.

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