European markets close higher amid upbeat economic data; Altice soars over 10%

European markets closed higher Tuesday afternoon as investors reacted to better-than-expected economic data and shrugged off a tech wobble in Asia.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.43 percent higher Tuesday, with major bourses and almost all sectors in positive territory.

The autos sector rallied in afternoon trade, closing 1.42 percent higher. German tyre specialist Continental led the gains, finishing up over 5 percent on reports that it could restructure itself.

Basic resources stocks also did well, closing up 1.21 percent. Mining giant Anglo American led the way.

Europe’s telecoms sector ended the day’s trading 0.58 percent to the upside, boosted by corporate restructuring news. Altice led the gains on the European benchmark after its board announced plans to spin-off the firm’s U.S. unit from European operations. The telecoms and cable group topped the Stoxx 600, closing up nearly 11 percent.

Meanwhile, utilities closed nearly 1 percent lower.

Looking at individual stocks, WM Morrison was trading higher after the U.K. grocer said it was comfortable with analysts’ full-year profit forecasts, Reuters reported. Shares of the firm moved higher throughout Tuesday’s trade, up by over 2.38 percent by the market close.

Meanwhile, Steinhoff slipped to the bottom of the index after the European Central Bank (ECB) sold its entire holding of bonds from the scandal-hit South African retailer on Monday. Its shares tumbled 5.36 percent lower by Tuesday’s close, though this showed a slight recovery from further losses earlier in the session.

In commodities, oil prices rose to their highest level since May 2015 on Tuesday amid ongoing OPEC-led production cuts and weaker-than-anticipated U.S. crude inventories. Brent crude touched above $68 per barrel.

On the data front, Germany’s industrial production and exports were both stronger-than-anticipated in November, showing continued rising growth in Europe’s largest economy.

Stateside, U.S. equities rose to record highs on positive investor sentiment ahead of earnings season. Financial giants BlackRock, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo will report fourth quarter results later this week. Source: CNBC

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