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.

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