The UK market rose on Tuesday, after data showed that the Eurozone economy avoided a recession in the first quarter. The Asian markets ended mixed as Greek worries persisted.
Investors look forward to a meeting between French president Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel later in the day to examine how they will overcome differences on tackling the sovereign debt crisis.
Meanwhile, Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker dismissed talks on Greece's exit from Eurozone as "propaganda" and said there was "absolutely no discussion" on Greece during Monday's euro area finance ministers' meeting. "Our unshakable desire is to keep Greece in euro," Juncker said after the meeting.
Moody's Investors Service on Monday downgraded 26 Italian banks after lowering the credit ratings of the country by a notch in mid-February. Moody's said the ratings for Italian banks are now amongst the lowest in advanced European countries, reflecting the banks' susceptibility to the adverse operating environments in Italy and Europe.
Additionally, UBS reduced its rating on global financials to "Underweight" from "Neutral."
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 0.38 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is gaining 0.02 percent.
The FTSE 100 index is up 0.18 percent.
G4S is climbing 3.8 percent. The security firm said overall revenues in the first quarter grew 7.5 percent at constant exchange rates.
Carnival is gaining 3.1 percent. Tullow Oil is up 1.9 percent.
Evraz is up 1.2 percent after saying revenue for the first quarter remained in line with last year, as prices and sales volumes were broadly flat.
Smiths Group is up 1.3 percent. The firm said full-year expectations remain in line with guidance.
Renishaw is climbing nearly 11 percent. The precision engineering company said its fourth quarter has started well with activity levels in April ahead of last year. The company sees higher adjusted pre-tax profit for the year.
International Consolidated Airlines is declining 2.8 percent.
Barclays is losing 1.4 percent. Lloyds Banking is losing 0.4 percent.
Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX is adding 0.31 percent and the French CAC 40 is rising 0.77 percent. Switzerland's SMI is gaining 0.14 percent.
In economic news, Germany's economic sentiment fell more than expected in May, a survey by Mannheim-based Centre for European Economic Research revealed. The indicator of economic sentiment fell to 10.8 in May from 23.4 in April. Economists had expected the index to fall to 19.
Data released by the Federal Statistical Office showed that the German economy expanded more than expected in the first quarter. Gross domestic product rose 0.5 percent from the prior quarter, when it fell 0.2 percent. Economists had expected only 0.1 percent growth. Meanwhile, the French economy recorded zero growth due to falling investment.
Eurozone economy avoided a recession in the first quarter, flash data from Eurostat revealed. Gross domestic product for the 17-nation bloc remained flat sequentially after shrinking 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter. Economists were forecasting a 0.2 percent contraction for the first quarter.
China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.25 percent after data showed that foreign direct investment in the country declined for the sixth consecutive month in April. Investment was down 0.74 percent from the prior year, but the rate was slower than the 6.1 percent decline seen in March.
Australia's All Ordinaries and Japan's Nikkei 225 slid around 0.8 percent each, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.8 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the major averages fell sharply at the open, but staged a recovery in mid-day trading and moved back to the downside going into the close. The Dow fell about 1 percent while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 slid around 1.1 percent each.
In the commodity space, crude for June delivery is falling $0.15 to $94.63 per barrel and June gold is losing $2.2 to $1558.8 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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