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European Markets Close Higher Ahead Of Fed, BoE Policy Moves

European markets ended higher on Tuesday, extending recent gains, despite growing uncertainty about Brexit and caution ahead of the monetary policy announcements of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, due tomorrow.

Investors were also digesting a slew of economic data from across Europe.

The pan European Stoxx 600 ended up 0.57%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.34% and France's CAC 40 advanced 0.24%, while Germany's DAX ended 1.13% up. The Switzerland market's SMI closed higher by 0.31%.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey, all ended higher.

Czech Republic and Greece closed weak, while Iceland and Netherlands ended flat.

Automobile stocks were among the notable gainers in Europe, with recent reports that the Peugeot group might favor Fiat Chrysler for consolidation operations.

Fiat Chrysler shares climbed about 5%. Shares of Porsche, BMW, Valeo, Volkswagen and Daimler rose as well.

Sainsbury's shares rallied sharply on reports the U.K. grocer and Walmart's Asda would provide a more specific commitment to cut prices in a bid to save their proposed tie-up.

Shares of online supermarket Ocado gained in strength after the company unveiled plans to establish an office in the Washington, D.C. metro area for its Ocado Solutions.

Wirecard, Bayer, Continental, Adidas, Infineon, Siemens, Fresenius, SAP, BASF, Kering, ArcelorMittal and Hermes International were some of the notable gainers in Tuesday's session.

On the Brexit front, following the speaker of Britain's parliament banning another vote on same Brexit deal, Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said that Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit divorce deal would probably not be put to a vote in the British parliament this week.

In economic news, Eurozone construction output fell in January after rising in the previous two months, reflecting declines in both building and civil engineering segments, data from the statistical office Eurostat showed on Tuesday.

Construction output declined a calendar and seasonally adjusted 1.4% month-on-month in January, reversing a 1.1% rise in December. Output grew 0.3% in November.

On a yearly basis, construction production fell a calendar adjusted 0.7% year-on-year in January, after a 2.1% rise in the previous month.

Preliminary data from the Office for National Statistics showed UK employment level climbed to a record high in the three months to January, while the jobless rate eased to its lowest level since the mid-1970s.

Germany's investor confidence rose sharply in March, reversing a steep fall in the previous month, to its highest level in a year, preliminary data from the ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research showed on Tuesday.

The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany rose to -3.6 from -13.4 in February, the Mannheim-based think tank said. Economists had forecast the index to rise modestly to -11.

The current situation index of the survey fell to 11.1 from 15. Economists had expected the index to ease to 13.

The expectations for the medium-term economic development are less pessimistic than they were a month or two ago, the ZEW said.

A report from the Federal Customs Administration showed Switzerland's exports rose the most in four months in February, growing a real 1.3% month-on-month, after a 0.9% rise in January.

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