Europe stocks kick off second quarter higher; German inflation data on tap

(Reuters) – European stocks kicked off the second quarter on a higher note, with focus on a string of economic data points including inflation data from Germany that could provide clarity on the timing for interest rate cuts from the European Central Bank.

The continent-wide STOXX 600 was up 0.3% by 0712 GMT on Tuesday, as investors returned to markets following an extended weekend and the Easter holidays.

Technology stocks boosted the benchmark index, with BE Semiconductor Industries jumping 4.6% after brokerage Barclays upgraded the stock to “overweight” from “equal weight”.

Germany’s DAX climbed 0.3%, ahead of consumer price index data due at 1200 GMT, where economists polled by Reuters expect a 2.2% annual rise in March, compared with a 2.5% increase in the month before.

Data from the region’s largest economy could be seen as a bellwether for broader euro zone inflation, data for which is expected on Wednesday.

UBS gained 1.2% after the lender announced it was launching a new share buyback programme of up to $2 billion, with up to half being completed in 2024.

(Reporting by Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)


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