European stocks turn broadly higher despite data; Dax up 0.22%

Shutterstock photo - European stocks turned broadly higher on Tuesday, despite downbeat euro zone economic reports, as investors eyed the beginning of earnings season in the U.S. later in the day.

During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 climbed 0.56%, France's CAC 40 advanced 0.72%, while Germany's DAX 30 added 0.22%.

Official data showed that the unemployment rate in the euro zone hit a new record high of 11.8% in November, up from 11.7% in October, underlining concerns over the outlook for growth in the region.

Meanwhile, German factory orders fell 1.8% in November, compared to expectations for a 1.4% drop as overseas demand declined.

A separate report showed that euro zone retail sales increased 0.1% in November, disappointing expectations for a 0.3% rise.

Overall market sentiment remained cautious amid uncertainty about continuing political wrangling in Washington over further U.S. budget cuts and raising the U.S. debt ceiling.

Financial stocks turned broadly higher, as shares in French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale sruged 2.61% and 3.62%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank rallied 2.29% and 1.58% respectively.

Peripheral lenders also posted sharp gains, with Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit climbing 1.14% and 3.03%, while Spain's Banco Santander and BBVA jumped 0.95% and 1.21%.

Elsewhere, Royal KPN NV, the biggest Dutch phone company, advanced 2.51% after Macquarie Group raised its recommendation on the stock to outperform from underperform.

In London, FTSE 100 rose 0.28%, as U.K. lenders tracked their European counterparts higher.

Shares in Lloyds Banking jumped 1.31% and the Royal Bank of Scotland rallied 2.16%, while Barclays surged 2.52%. HSBC Holdings underperformed on the other hand, sliding 0.50%.

Meanwhile, telecom giant Vodafone remained sharply higher, advancing 2.54% after Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told the Wall Street Journal Monday that his company is strong enough to buy Vodafone out of its stake in Verizon Wireless.

Verizon entered into a joint venture with Vodafone in 2000, creating what is now known as Verizon Wireless. Verizon currently owns 55% of the company, while Vodafone holds the remaining 45%.

On the downside, mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton declined 0.64% and 0.58%, while copper producers Xstrata and Kazakhmys retreated 0.55% and 0.79% respectively.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.05% rise, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.01% dip, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.01% gain.

Also Tuesday, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso his government would buy bonds issued by the European Stability Mechanism, the euro zone's permanent bailout fund, in order to help stabilize the financial situation in the bloc. - 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.

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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