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European Markets Climb to New Records on Strong Economic Data

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  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the session up 0.8%, having earlier notched a new all-time high.
  • Manufacturing activity in the euro zone hit a record high in May, according to IHS Markit data.
  • Oil prices also surged even as OPEC and its oil-producing allies agreed to boost output in July.

European markets closed higher on Tuesday after recording their fourth straight month of gains, as investors grow confident about the prospects of the region's economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally ended the session up 0.8%, having earlier notched a new all-time high. Basic resources added 2.9% to lead gains with almost all sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher by Tuesday's close as investors reacted to China's Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for May. The final activity reading came in at 52, slightly exceeding analyst expectations of 51.9.

On Wall Street, the major U.S. stock indexes were also higher as enthusiasm about the economic reopening lifted travel and energy stocks.

Europe's major indexes had closed lower on Monday after a quiet session due to public holidays in the U.K. and the U.S., with inflation figures out of Germany and Spain guiding sentiment. Optimism over the region's economic recovery prospects has continued to drive markets higher in recent months.

Final IHS Markit manufacturing PMI readings for May, published Tuesday showed activity in the euro zone hitting a record high 63.1, up from 62.9 in April and exceeding an initial flash estimate of 62.8.

In the U.K., factory activity rose to 65.6 in May from 60.9 in April, its sharpest increase since records began, as a windfall of new orders drove the country's industrial resurgence.

The European Commission on Monday proposed that vaccinated tourists should be exempted from mandatory testing or quarantine measures when travelling between EU nations, urging a progressive easing of travel restrictions to accommodate rising Covid-19 inoculations.

Meanwhile, the EU is finally ready to raise 750 billion euros ($917 billion) of much-needed funds from public markets and boost the economies of its 27 members after the severe shock from the coronavirus crisis. 

In corporate news, Atlantia investors on Monday backed the $11 billion sale of the Italian infrastructure group's stake in its motorway division to state bank CDP and allies Blackstone and Macquarie.

Oil prices also surged Tuesday, even as OPEC and its oil-producing allies agreed to boost output in July, amid optimism over the recovery and rising fuel demand. International benchmark Brent crude futures traded up 1.3% at $70.20 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 2.1% to $67.71 per barrel.

In terms of individual share price movement, British travel booking service Trainline gained 6.6% while Luxembourgish telecoms company SES fell 5.7%.

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