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European Markets Close Higher

European markets closed higher on Monday amid optimism about economic recovery after data showed a surge in Germany's retail sales and an expansion in euro zone factory activity.

The French government has eased lockdown restrictions, allowing citizens to travel further than 10km (six miles) from home and can go anywhere in France. They have been exempted from carrying forms giving valid reasons for travelling. However, according to reports, the night-time curfew remains in force.

The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.58%. Germany's DAX surged up 0.66% and France's CAC 40 climbed 0.61%, while Switzerland's SMI ended 0.88% up. The U.K. market was closed for a public holiday.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Turkey ended notably higher.

Belgium edged up marginally and Iceland drifted lower.

In the French market, Technip, Renault, ArcelorMittal, Danone, Air France-KLM, Kering, Schenider Electric, LOreal, Faurecia, Valeo and Hermes International moved higher, while WorldLine and STMicroElectronics ended notably lower.

In Germany, Covestro, Lufthansa, Volkswagen, Allianz, Deutsche Post, Siemens, Deutsche Wohnen, Adidas, Vonovia and Fresenius Medical Care closed higher by 1 to 3%. Deutsche Bank declined sharply, while Bayer, SAP and Thyssenkrupp posted modest losses.

Shares of Dutch telecom firm Royal KPN NV declined sharply after the company confirmed that it has rejected an unsolicited takeover offer from a private equity consortium comprising EQT and Stonepeak.

German retail sales grew by a real 7.7% on a monthly basis in March, Destatis reported. That was faster than the 2.7% increase in February and 3% rise economists had forecast.

On a yearly basis, retail sales rebounded 11%, reversing a 6.6% fall in the previous month and confounding expectations for a decrease of 0.3%.

The IHS Markit France Manufacturing PMI edged down to 58.9 in April from a record high of 59.3 in March and slightly below a preliminary estimate of 59.2. However, the rate of growth in factory activity was among the quickest since data collection began just over 23 years ago.

Eurozone PMI Manufacturing was finalized at 62.9 in April, up from March's 62.5, highest since record began in 1997, Markit said earlier in the day.

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