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European stocks higher ahead of E.Z. data; Dax up 0.48%

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Shutterstock photo - European stocks opened higher on Tuesday, as markets awaited the release of manufacturing and unemployment data from the euro zone later in the day, while concerns over political deadlock in Italy persisted.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 added 0.25%, France's CAC 40 advanced 0.39%, while Germany's DAX 30 gained 0.48%.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano was due to meet with working committee advisors later Tuesday, in an attempt to break the political deadlock in the country.

The so-called group of ten "wise men" meeting in Rome was to include a Bank of Italy member, the country's statistics chief and politicians from both sides.

Separately, Cypriot government officials were preparing to meet with representatives of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to seek easier bailout terms.

Financial stocks were mixed. In France, BNP Paribas and Societe Generale advanced 0.12% and 0.39%, while in Germany, Deutsche Bank retreated 0.72%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit tumbled 1.05% and 2.40% respectively, while Spain's Banco Santander and BBVA slid 0.19% and 0.89%.

Elsewhere, Syngenta, which produces crop protection products and seeds, plummeted 2.43% after Liberum Capital Ltd. downgraded the shares to hold.

In London, FTSE 100 climbed 0.54%.

Vodafone led gains, surging 3.80%, after accusing the Indian government of "contradictory and inconsistent" actions in an ongoing row over valuable phone spectrum licences.

Adding to gains, ICAP ralled 3.24% after Nasdaq OMX Group said it will buy eSpeed, the electronic trading system for U.S. Treasuries, from BGC Partners for about USD750 million in cash.

Meanwhile, financial stocks were broadly lower, as shares in HSBC Holdings dipped 0.03% and Barclays edged lower 0.16%, while Lloyds Banking slid 0.33% and the Royal Bank of Scotland tumbled 1.92%.

Mining stocks were also mostly on the downside. Rio Tinto slid 0.62%, while rivals Evraz and Eurasian Natural Resources plunged 2.61% and 2.44% respectively.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.19% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.14% rise, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.22% increase.

Also Tuesday, Markit research group said Spain's manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 44.2 in March from a reading of 46.8 the previous month, while Italy's manufacturing PMI ticked down to 44.50 last month from 45.80 in February.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release a government report on factory orders. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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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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