Europe shares up; Lufthansa hit by plane crash

European equities rose from session lows on Tuesday, as investors reacted to fresh economic data from the euro zone.

The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 index (^STOXX) was around 0.6 percent higher, having starting the session lower.

Shares of Airbus (Euronext Paris: AIR-FR) fell up to 2 percent on Tuesday after an A320 passenger plane had crashed in the south of France. The plane was operated by Germanwings, a budget airline owned by Lufthansa (XETRA:LHA-DE). Shares of the German carrier sunk by as much as 4.6 percent.

Read More Airbus plane crashes in Southern France

Meanwhile, new data on Tuesday morning showed that business activity in the euro zone hit a 46-month high in March, bolstering hopes that growth in the region is becoming more entrenched.

Germany’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) figures beat market expectations, with business activity in the country growing at its highest rate in eight months.

The data also showed France’s private sector had expanded for a second straight month.

Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI) index traded around 1.1 percent higher; France’s benchmark CAC (Euronext Paris: .FCHI) was roughly 0.9 percent higher.

Read More Euro zone business activity shoots up

“This is a highly encouraging and positive set of euro zone purchasing managers’ surveys, and it is welcome to see that manufacturing activity is now gaining appreciable in addition to healthy services activity,” Howard Archer, an economic at IHS Global Insight, said in a research note.

“It is not just the headline figures that are encouraging, but the whole tone of the surveys.”

Markets had started the session weaker, after disappointing manufacturing data out of China prompted concerns of slower growth for the world’s second largest economy. China’s HSBC flash PMI for March fell to 49.2, an 11-month low.

U.S. equities traded mostly higher on Tuesday, as investors eyed a weaker dollar (Exchange:.DXY) and numerous data releases.

On Tuesday morning, a Greek government official said that the country was going to present a reform package to the Eurogroup of finance ministers by next Monday at the latest, Reuters reported.

This came after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday .

Greece and Germany-all talk and no action?

The Athens composite index traded around 3.7 percent higher on Tuesday.

In U.K. news, David Cameron has told the BBC broadcaster that he will not serve a third term as prime minister if the Conservatives remain in government after the general election. The prime minister said that, if re-elected, he would serve the full five years of another Parliament and then leave office.

Also in the U.K., the consumer price index fell to a record low on Tuesday morning, as it posted a figure of zero percent in February from a year earlier.

The benchmark FTSE 100 (FTSE International: .FTSE) traded around 0.2 percent higher.

In individual stocks news, petroleum and chemicals firm Rubis (Euronext Paris: RUI-FR) climbed up to 2.3 percent in early deals after a target price upgrade by Exane BNP Paribas.

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