Stock indices closed higher on corporate news and on a weaker euro. The euro fell against the U.S. dollar after the release of the mixed economic data from the Eurozone. Eurostat released its unemployment data for the Eurozone on Tuesday. Eurozone's unemployment rate declined to 10.3% in January from 10.4% in December. It was the lowest reading since August 2011. Analysts had expected the unemployment rate to remain unchanged at 10.4%.
Markit Economics released its final manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the Eurozone on Tuesday. Eurozone's final manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) dropped to 51.2 in February from 52.3 in January, up from the preliminary reading of 51.0.
The drop was driven by a softer growth in production, new orders, export business and employment.
"With factory output in the Eurozone showing the smallest rise for a year in February, concerns are growing that the region is facing yet another year of sluggish growth in 2016, or even another downturn," Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit said.
"With all indicators - from output and demand to employment and prices - turning down, the survey will add pressure on the ECB to act quickly and aggressively to avert another economic downturn," he added.
Germany's final Markit/BME manufacturing PMI fell to 50.5 in February from 52.3 in January, up from the preliminary reading of 50.2. The index was driven by declines in all subindexes.
France's final manufacturing PMI increased to 50.2 in February from 50.0 in January, down from the preliminary reading of 50.3. The index was driven by a rise in backlogs of work.
Markit Economics released its manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the U.K. on Tuesday. The Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply manufacturing PMI for the U.K. decreased to 50.8 in February from 52.9 in January, missing expectations for a fall to 52.2. it was the lowest level since April 2013.
The decrease was driven by a drop in output.
"The near-stagnation of manufacturing highlights the ongoing fragility of the economic recovery at the start of the year and provides further cover for the Bank of England's increasingly dovish stance. The breadth of the slowdown is especially worrisome," Markit's Senior Economist Rob Dobson said.
Higher oil price also supported stocks. Oil prices rose on hopes for lower oil output.
Indexes on the close:
Name Price Change Change %
FTSE 100 6,152.88 55.79 0.92 %
DAX 9,717.16 221.76 2.34 %
CAC 40 4,406.84 53.29 1.22 %