European Stock Mostly Higher Ahead of Easter Break

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By Investors Hub

European stocks are mostly higher on Thursday as the easing of geopolitical and trade tensions prompted investors to cherry-pick shares ahead of the Easter break.

While the U.K.?s FTSE 100 Index has risen by 0.3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.7 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.9 percent.

French automaker Renault has jumped on a Bloomberg report that it is in talks to merge with Japan’s Nissan Motor. Rivals Peugeot, BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen have also moved higher.

Swiss Re has rallied on a Bloomberg report that Japan’s Softbank Corp. is nearing an agreement to acquire a stake in the reinsurance company.

Meanwhile, Shire has fallen a day after Japan’s Takeda Pharma said it is considering a possible offer for the Irish drug maker. French outsourcing group Sodexo has also slumped after cutting its guidance for fiscal 2018.

On the data front, German unemployment decreased notably in March, while U.K. consumer sentiment strengthened to the highest level in ten months in the month, separate reports showed.

ONS’ third estimate of growth showed U.K. GDP grew by 0.4 percent in the final quarter of 2017, unchanged from the second reading in February. The annual growth has been revised up to 1.8 percent from a previous reading of 1.7 percent.

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