European markets open to close, data, earnings


LONDON — European stocks closed higher on Tuesday as global markets tried to build on some positive momentum seen at the start of the new trading week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 added 1.2% by the close, with basic resources climbing 3.5% to lead gains as almost all sectors and major bourses finished in positive territory.

The war in Ukraine remains a key focus for market sentiment in Europe, with fighting raging in the east and southeast of the country.

On Monday, news emerged that more than 260 Ukrainian fighters, including some who are badly wounded, were evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant — a last stronghold for Ukrainian forces in the ruined city of Mariupol — and taken to areas under Russia’s control, the Ukrainian military said.

With Finland and Sweden both announcing their bids to join the Western military alliance NATO, all eyes are on Russia and how it might react. Moscow has already expressed outrage at the idea of its old foe NATO expanding, and Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that the expansion of NATO “is a problem.” While Russia has vowed retaliatory steps, it’s uncertain how it will act.

On the data front Tuesday, U.K. unemployment fell to its lowest since 1974 in the first quarter, official figures revealed Tuesday, but soaring inflation pushed wages downward.

Euro zone GDP grew 0.3% in the first quarter, Eurostat figures revealed on Tuesday, as economic activity remained resilient despite the effects of the omicron Covid-19 variant and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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In terms of individual share price movement, Imperial Brands climbed 7.6% after strong results and optimistic guidance.

Clariant climbed 7.3% after the Swiss chemicals company announced that its delayed full-year earnings report will be published on May 19, and that it will end a governance agreement with largest shareholder Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, Swedish investment company Storskogen Group dropped 17% after its first-quarter results.

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