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European stocks rise after upbeat German data; Dax up 0.55%

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Shutterstock photo - - European stocks were higher on Thursday, after data showed that Germany's industrial production rose more-than-expected in February, fuelling optimism over the strength of Europe's biggest economy.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 climbed 0.45%, France's CAC 40 gained 0.52%, while Germany's DAX 30 advanced 0.55%.

Data earlier showed that German industrial production rose 0.2% in February, ahead of expectations for a 0.1% gain as the production of energy and capital goods increased.

Another report showed that German exports rose 1.5% in February while imports also increased, pointing to growth in the region's largest economy.

Financial stocks were mixed, as Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) slipped 0.22% and BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) climbed 0.49% in France, while Deutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) dropped 0.77% and Commerzbank (XETRA:CBKG) gained 0.56% in Germany.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) rose 0.27% and 0.31% respectively, while Spanish banks BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) both added 0.13%.

Elsewhere, Vivendi (PARIS:VIV) surged 2.99% following reports the French media company agreed to pay an additional dividend of €2 a share to accommodate demands by Wall Street activist Peter Schoenfeld for bigger returns.

Holcim (SIX:HOLN) Ltd. and Lafarge (PARIS:LAFP) added to gains, with shares climbing 0.62% and 1.57% respectively after the two cement makers agreed to appoint Eric Olsen to lead their combined operation.

In London, FTSE 100 advanced 0.50%, led by Burberry, whose shares soared 4.45% after the clothing retailer's stock had its "hold" rating reaffirmed by Societe Generale.

In the financial sector, stocks were also mostly higher. Shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) edged up 0.14% and Barclays (LONDON:BARC) climbed 0.70%, while HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) rallied 1.65%. Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) underperformed on the other hand, down 0.27%.

Meanwhile, mining stocks were broadly lower as Glencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) dropped 0.66% and Bhp Billiton (LONDON:BLT) plummeted 2.48%, while rivals Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) and Anglo American (LONDON:AAL) plunged 2.54% and 3.54%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a moderately lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.15% fall, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.17% slip, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.14% loss.

Later in the day, the Institute of Supply Management is to release data on U.S. service sector activity. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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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.

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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