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European Stocks Rise as Oil Extends Gains Amid Middle East Tensions

By Investors Hub

European stocks are mostly higher on Tuesday as oil extended gains amid Middle East tensions and the dollar held steady near its highest level since January on expectations for a faster pace of interest rate hikes.

Amid another batch of mixed earnings updates, investors awaited the European Central Bank’s monetary policy decision and a potential meeting in Beijing between officials from the world’s two largest economies this week for directional cues.

While the French CAC 40 Index is just above the unchanged line, the German DAX Index is up by 0.2 percent and the U.K.?s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.4 percent.

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German software giant SAP has rallied after reporting upbeat first quarter results and lifting its full-year outlook.

On the other hand, Apple supplier AMS has plunged after it warned of a slowdown in the second quarter, citing lower orders from one of its main customers.

Dutch paints and chemicals maker AkzoNobel has also tumbled after the company warned of higher raw material costs and forex losses after reporting a 5 percent increase in first quarter net income from total operations.

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French tire maker Michelin and automaker PSA Group have also fallen after reporting disappointing quarterly results.

In economic news, German business confidence deteriorated more than expected in April, the Ifo Institute reported. The business sentiment index fell to 102.1 from 103.3 a month ago. The index was forecast to drop moderately to 102.8.

French manufacturing confidence also declined in April, survey data from the statistical office Insee showed. The manufacturing sentiment index fell to 109 from 110 in March. The reading was expected to remain unchanged at 110.

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The Office for National Statistics said the U.K. budget deficit in March decreased to its lowest level since 2004.

Public sector net borrowing, excluding public sector banks, decreased by 0.8 billion pounds to 1.3 billion pounds in March. This was the lowest March net borrowing since 2004.

Separately, a quarterly bank lending survey from the European Central Bank showed loan growth in the first quarter continued to be supported by easing credit conditions and rising demand.

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Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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