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European Markets End Higher As Trade Worries Ease Slightly

European markets ended higher on Tuesday, rebounding from losses in the previous session, as investors reacted positively to U.S. Commerce Department's decision to temporarily ease trade restrictions on Chinese tech giant Huawei.

Following the reprieve announced by the U.S. government, Google reversed its earlier decision and announced it will continue to work with Huawei over the next 90 days.

Data showing eurozone consumer confidence to have risen to its highest level in seven months in May aided sentiment.

However, geopolitical worries due to tensions in the Middle East and a downward revision in global growth outlook by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development limited the upside.

Technology shares were the prominent movers up north.

The pan European Stoxx 600 moved up 0.54%. Among the major markets, Germany ended on a strong note, with its benchmark DAX gaining 0.85%. The U.K.'s FTSE and France's CAC 40 ended higher by 0.25% and 0.5%, respectively. Switzerland's SMI advanced by 0.44%.

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Sweden ended with sharp to moderate gains.

Shares of Austrian semiconductor manufacturer AMS, which suffered a huge setback in the previous session, gained about 2.5% today.

Thyssenkrupp, the top gainer in the German DAX index, rose more than 5%, with investors reacting to an announcement from the company that its supervisory board will meet to decide on restructuring plans.

Wirecard gained about 4.2% and Adidas gained nearly 3%. SAP, Siemens, Allianz and HeidelbergCement ended higher by 1 to 1.7%, while Infineon ended nearly 1% up.

Automobile majors BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler ended flat. Daimler is reportedly working on a cost cut programme to reach profit margin targets.

In France, STMicroelectronics shares rose 4.3%. Technip, ArcelorMittal, Atos and Valeo gained 1 to 3.4%.

LVMH, Schneider Electric, Renault, Peugeot, Veolia, Pernod Ricard, Sodexo, Kering and Legrand ended higher by 1 to 1.5%.

Shares of natural gas distribution company Engie ended lower by about 2.4% on reports France's finance ministry is preparing to reduce its stake in the company from 24% to around 15% within a year.

A Reuters report said French businessman Jacques Veyrat, who has a controlling stake of over 50% in renewable energy group Neoen, is likely to sell Neoen to Engie in return for a small take in Engie.

In the British market, J Sainsbury surged up more than 4.5%. Persimmon, Coca Cola, Micro Focus, Antofagasta, Berkeley Group, Marks & Spencer, Evraz, Lloys Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered, all ended with strong gains.

In economic news, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has downgraded the global growth outlook for 2019 as trade disputes hurt manufacturing and investment decisions.

In its latest Economic Outlook, the agency forecast 3.2% growth for 2019 instead of 3.3% estimated in March. The global outlook for 2020 was retained at 3.4%.

"The fragile global economy is being destabilised by trade tensions," OECD chief economist Laurence Boone, said.

"Growth is stabilising but the economy is weak and there are very serious risks on the horizon. Governments need to work harder together to ensure a return to stronger and more sustainable growth," Boone added.

The OECD forecast the U.S. economy to grow 2.8% in 2019 before slowing to 2.3% in 2020. Growth in euro area is seen at 1.2% this year and 1.4% next year, while China's growth is expected to ease to 6.2% in 2019 and to 6% next year.

Eurozone consumer confidence rose more-than-expected in May to its highest level in seven months, after weakening in the previous month, flash data from the European Commission showed on Tuesday.

The flash consumer confidence index climbed to -6.5 from -7.3 in April, which was revised from -7.9. Economists had expected a score of -7.7.

The latest reading was the highest since October, when the score was -5.9.

The consumer confidence index for the EU gained 1.1 points to -6.2 in May.

Both indicators were above their long-term averages of -10.7 and -10, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Industrial Trends survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed that UK manufacturing orders hit its lowest level since October 2016,

The order book balance dropped to -10% from -5% in April. At the same time, the export order books balance slid to -16%, the lowest since July 2016.

On the Brexit front, British Finance Minister Philip Hammond warned today that those on the "populist right" pushing for the U.K. to leave the European Union without a deal would be doing deliberate damage to the British economy.

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