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European stocks rise ahead of German data, Draghi speech; Dax up 0.47%

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Shutterstock photo - - European stocks were higher on Thursday, as investors eyed the release of German business climate data, as well as a speech by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi later in the day, while upbeat euro zone data published on Wednesday continued to support.

During European morning trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 climbed 0.46%, France's CAC 40 advanced 0.56%, while Germany's DAX gained 0.47%.

European equities remained supported after the ECB chief warned earlier this month that further gains in the currency would trigger additional monetary easing to keep inflation from falling.

Earlier this week, ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said the bank still had room to lower its key interest rates and added that it was "certain" that appreciation of the euro since mid-2012 had contributed to the low level of current inflation in the euro area.

On Wednesday, data showed that the recovery in the euro zone private sector continued this month, but pointed to a divergence between Germany and France.

The recovery in Germany, the euro zone's largest economy accelerated, with activity in both the manufacturing and service sector strengthening, but growth in the French private sector lost momentum.

Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas (BNPP.PAR) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PAR) jumped 0.91% and 0.64%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.XETRA) eased 0.08%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MILAN) and Unicredit (CRDI.MILAN) gained 0.94% and 1.13% respectively, while Spanish banks Banco Santander (SAN.MADRID) and BBVA (BBVA.MADRID) advanced 0.64% and 0.91%.

On the downside, Michelin (MICP.PAR) plunged 4.10% after the tiremaker reported a 2.4% drop in first-quarter revenue, affected by the strong euro and weaker demand in Eastern Europe due to the Ukrainian crisis.

In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 rose 0.44%, supported by sharp gains in energy and mining stocks as commodity prices moved higher.

Oil and gas major Anglo American (AAL.LSE) led gains on the index, with shares surging 2.49%, while mining companies Rio Tinto (RIO.LSE) and Vedanta Resources (VED.LSE) jumped 0.98% and 1.45% respectively.

Financial stocks were also broadly higher, as Lloyds Banking (LLOY.LSE) rose 0.39% and Barclays (BARC.LSE) climbed 0.46%, while HSBC Holdings (HSBA.LSE) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.LSE) advanced 0.40% and 0.70%.

In earnings news, Astrazeneca (AZN.LSE) reported first-quarter profit that missed analysts' estimates, but shares in the U.K.'s second biggest drugmaker were still up 2.12%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow 30futures pointed to a 0.19% gain, S&P 500futures signaled a 0.34% increase, while the Nasdaq 100futures indicated a 1.19% jump.

Later in the day, Germany was to release the Ifo report on business climate, while the U.S. was to publish data on durable goods orders and the weekly report on initial jobless claims. 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.

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