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European Stocks Edge Higher in Early Trade as Packaging Companies Rally

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European equity benchmarks were advancing on Tuesday, with packaging companies leading the gainers on London's FTSE 100 Index while economic data showing that Eurozone retail sales continue to grow in February raised sentiment.

Eurozone retailers reported an eleventh consecutive monthly rise in like-for-like sales during February, according to survey data released by research company IHS Markit. The rate of expansion quickened from January's five-month low and was solid overall while the acceleration at the Eurozone level reflected sharper rises in Germany and France, and renewed growth in Italy.

In equities, paper-based packaging company Smurfit Kappa (SKG.L) was leading the gainers on London's FTSE 100 Index, up by 18.7% after saying that it had received an unsolicited takeover proposal from Memphis-based International Paper Company which it felt failed to reflect its growth prospects and had subsequently decided to pursue its future as an independent company.

Intertek Group (ITRK.L), an inspection, product testing and certification company, was 5.1% higher and packaging companies DS Smith (SMDS.L) and Mondi (MNDI.L), were 4.7% and 4.6% higher, respectively.

On Frankfurt's DAX, automobile manufacturer Volkswagen Group (VOW.DE) was 3.3% higher, thyssenkrupp, a producer of steel, (TKA.DE) was up by 2.0% and kidney dialysis company Fresenius (FME.DE) was 1.9% higher. Infineon (IFX.DE), a manufacturer of semiconductors, was up by 1.8%.

And, on Paris' CAC-40, automobile manufacturer Renault (RNO.PA) was 2.4% higher, followed by oilfield services company TechnipFMC (FTI.PA), up by 2.0%. Valeo SA (FR.PA),a supplier of automobile parts, was up by 1.7%.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 Index was 0.74% higher, London's FTSE 100 Index was up by 0.96%, Frankfurt's DAX was 1.15% higher and Paris' CAC-40 was up by 0.73% at the time of writing.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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