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European stocks steady in cautious trade; Dax up 0.01%

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Shutterstock photo - European stocks were steady on Tuesday, as investors remained cautious after Monday's disappointing economic reports from the euro zone, while signs of a strong economic recovery in the U.S. supported sentiment.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 dipped 0.04%, France's CAC 40 inched 0.06% lower, while Germany's DAX 30 inched up 0.01%.

On Monday, official data showed that industrial production in France dropped 1.2% in January, compared to expectations for a 0.1% rise, after a 0.1% fall the previous month.

The report came after official data showed that Germany's trade surplus declined to EUR15.7 billion in January from a revised 16.9 billion the previous month.

Meanwhile, sentiment remained supported after data on Friday showed that the U.S. economy added significantly more jobs than forecast in February, with the unemployment rate falling to a four-year low of 7.7%.

Financial stocks were broadly higher, as shares in French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale added 0.25% and 0.23%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank rose 0.12% and 2.56% respectively.

Peripheral lenders added to gains, with Spanish banks BBVA and Banco Santander edging up 0.14% and 0.34%, while Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo added 0.14%.

Telecom stocks were also on the upside, as Finnish group Nokia climbed 0.73%, while Spain's Telefonica rose 0.27%.

In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 eased 0.05%, weighed by losses in mining stocks.

BHP Billiton fell 0.27% and Rio Tinto declined 0.73%, while precious metals mining company Fresnillo tumbled 1.61% and copper producer Xstrata slid 0.36%.

Meanwhile, U.K. lenders tracked their European counterparts higher. Shares in HSBC Holdings added 0.39% and the Royal Bank of Scotland climbed 0.80%, while Barclays and Lloyds Banking jumped 1.58% and 1.66% respectively.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a moderately lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.13% fall, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.09% loss, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.15% decline. - 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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