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European Markets Inch Higher After Yesterday's Strong Rally

The majority of the European markets ended Tuesday's session with modest gains, following yesterday's strong rally. The markets surged Monday after Emmanuel Macron's victory in the first round of the French presidential election on Sunday.

France's outgoing president, Francois Hollande, has urged voters to back centrist Macron in the second round of the election on May 7, warning that far-right leader Marine Le Pen would be a "massive risk" for the economy and jobs.

Tuesday's gains were more modest as the euphoria from Macron's victory has begun to fade. Investors shifted their focus to corporate earnings results and a deal between France's LVMH and Christian Dior.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.26 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks increased 0.16 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.34 percent.

The DAX of Germany climbed 0.10 percent and the CAC 40 of France rose 0.17 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. gained 0.15 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 0.73 percent.

In Frankfurt, SAP rose 0.23 percent. The business software provider reported a 9 percent fall in first-quarter profit, but said sales of its Internet cloud-based offerings are picking up momentum.

Aixtron soared 13.43 percent after the semiconductor firm narrowed its first-quarter net loss.

Sportswear company Puma gained 1.67 percent as it set a new quarterly record for sales between January and March.

Continental AG dropped 2.69 percent. According to Bloomberg, the automotive components supplier held talks with U.S. peer Delphi Automotive Plc earlier this year about merging parts of their powertrain divisions.

In Paris, Luxury goods conglomerate LVMH rose 3.94 percent and Christian Dior jumped 11.09 percent as LVMH announced it would buy out the minority interest held by Christian Dior SA in a €12.1 billion deal.

Essilor gained 0.89 percent after confirming its fiscal 2017 targets.

In London, Hikma rallied 3.64 percent and Shire rose 1.37 percent after German healthcare firm Fresenius announced two acquisitions worth combined more than $5 billion.

Whitbread sank 7.13 percent. The hotel and restaurant group warned of 'tougher consumer environment' going forward as a result of the U.K. leaving the EU.

Mining stocks were under pressure after Goldman Sachs said tightening conditions in China may have an impact on commodity demand. BHP Billiton dropped 0.66 percent and Anglo American lost 0.53 percent.

Volvo surged 7.62 percent in Stockholm after its first-quarter net profit beat forecasts.

Ericsson fell 2.62 percent after posting a wider-than-expected operating loss in the first quarter.

Novartis increased 2.16 percent in Zurich despite the company reporting a drop in first-quarter earnings, mainly due to a net charge related to the discontinuation of an acute heart failure drug.

Lonza Group climbed 4.10 percent after upgrading its outlook for 2017.

Chipmaker AMS soared 19.56 percent after the company posted strong first-quarter revenue and indicated it might increase its mid-term revenue growth target.

Eurozone general government deficit to GDP ratio declined in the fourth quarter of 2016 after widening in the previous three months, preliminary figures from Eurostat showed Tuesday. As a percentage of GDP, the seasonally adjusted government deficit was 1.4 percent in the final three months of 2016 versus 1.6 percent in the third quarter.

The total value of new orders received by the German construction industry increased in February, figures from Destatis showed Tuesday. The seasonally, working-day and price-adjusted orders in construction climbed 2.0 percent month-over-month in February.

French manufacturing sentiment strengthened to a near six-year high in April, survey results from the statistical office Insee showed Tuesday. The manufacturing confidence index rose 3 points to 108 in April, the highest since June 2011. The score was forecast to remain unchanged at 105.0.

The UK budget deficit widened in March, data published by the Office for National Statistics showed Tuesday. Excluding banks, public sector net borrowing increased by GBP 0.8 billion from prior year to GBP 5.1 billion in March. This was the highest March borrowing since 2015.

New home sales in the U.S. saw a substantial increase in the month of March, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday. The Commerce Department said new home sales jumped by 5.8 percent to an annual rate of 621,000 in March from a revised 587,000 in February.

Economists had expected new home sales to drop to a rate of 585,000 from the 592,000 originally reported for the previous month.

After reporting notable increases in U.S. consumer confidence over the two previous months, the Conference Board released a report on Tuesday showing that consumer confidence pulled back by more than expected in the month of April.

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index fell to 120.3 in April from a revised 124.9 in March. Economists had expected the index to dip to 123.1 from the 125.6 originally reported for the previous month.

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