European stocks remain mostly higher after positive data; Dax down 0.13%

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Investing.com - European stocks remained mostly higher on Wednesday, after of the release of positive euro zone industrial production data later in the day, while speculation over a near-term end to the Federal Reserve's stimulus program persisted.


During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.40%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.37%, while Germany's DAX 30 slipped 0.13%.

Official data showed that industrial production in the euro zone rose 0.4% in April, confounding expectations for a 0.2% fall, after a 0.9% increase the previous month.

Separately, Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble defended the European Central Bank's bond purchasing scheme at a hearing in Germany's constitutional court into the legality of the program on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, markets remained jittery amid ongoing speculation over whether the Fed will begin to unwind its bond-buying program in the coming months.

In the financial sector, French lender BNP Paribas climbed 0.50% and Societe Generale slid 0.36%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank tumbled 1.05% and Commerzbank rose 0.36%.

Meanwhile, peripheral lenders remained broadly higher, with Spanish banks Banco Santander and BBVA rallying 1.51% and 2.06% respectively, while Italy's Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo gained 0.41% and 0.61%.

Elsewhere, Kabel Deutschland surged 8.32% after Vodafone, the world's second-largest wireless carrier, confirmed it discussed acquiring the German cable operator to expand in the broadband and TV market.

In London, FTSE 100 added 0.15%, after official data showed that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the U.K. fell to the lowest level in two years in May.

U.K. lenders remained mostly higher, as shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland climbed 0.66%, while HSBC Holdings and Lloyds Banking advanced 0.58% and 0.41% respectively. Barclays underperformed on the other hand, sliding 0.30%.

Adding to gains, BSkyB rallied 2.15% after Banco Espirito Santo wrote in a report that News Corp. may make a new bid for the U.K.'s largest pay-TV broadcaster after its shareholders approve a plan to split off publishing operations.

Meanwhile, Severn Trent continued to lead losses, diving 8.79%, after Borealis Infrastructure Management nd its Kuwaiti-British partners late Tuesday abandoned their GBP5.3 billion bid for the U.K. water utility as the offer deadline expired.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.52% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.58% increase, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.47% rise.


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