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European equities closed higher on Thursday, as investors reacted to fresh economic data and auto stocks posted strong gains. The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 Index (^STOXX) closed over 1 percent higher as new figures late Wednesday showed impressive gains in auto sales for the European market. This helped major car manufacturers post gains on Thursday. Read More

When it comes to stocks, America is the big loser this year. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) is up just 1.6 percent through Thursday’s close, making it the worst among major market indexes for 2015. In Asia, India’s BSE Sensex is up 5 percent, Japan’s Nikkei (CBOE:.NKXQ) has risen 14 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Read More

By Lisa Twaronite and Shinichi Saoshiro TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian stocks rose on Thursday, extending the previous session’s gains, while the dollar drew support from minutes of the Federal Reserve’s last meeting showing the U.S. central bank was still on course to hike interest rates this year. Financial spreadbetters expected Britain’s FTSE 100 <.FTSE> to Read More

European equities closed mostly lower on Wednesday, despite a surge in energy stocks after Royal Dutch Shell (London Stock Exchange: RDSA-GB) launched a bid for U.K.-listed BG Group (London Stock Exchange: BG.-GB). The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (FTSE International: .FTEU3) closed flat, having touched an eight year-high earlier in the session after oil and gas firms Read More

By Lionel Laurent and Francesco Canepa LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell’s $ 70 billion (47 billion pounds) bid for energy firm BG Group lifted Britain’s top share index on Wednesday, helping it outperform its continental peers. The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> was up 0.5 percent at 6,998.71 points by 1103 GMT, while Germany’s DAX <.GDAXI> Read More

By Shinichi Saoshiro TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian stocks rose on Tuesday, following a positive lead from Wall Street, while the dollar held onto its gains after rebounding against the euro and yen on higher U.S. Treasury yields. Spreadbetters saw the upward momentum for equities continuing into Europe, forecasting a higher open for Britain’s FTSE <.FTSE>, Read More

By Leila Abboud PARIS (Reuters) – The French state will get double voting rights at telecom group Orange (ORAN.PA) in 2016, potentially allowing it to sell some of its 25 percent stake without losing influence as it takes advantage of recent legislation. France’s “Florange” law, passed last year and named after a closed steel factory, Read More

European markets seesawed on Thursday as investors focused on U.S. economic data and positioned themselves ahead of the long Easter weekend. The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 Index (^STOXX) wobbled around the flatline in afternoon trading, with major bourses trading mostly higher. Shares of U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer (London Stock Exchange: MKS-GB) were higher by Read More

By Lisa Twaronite TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares shrugged off weak U.S. data overnight that raised concerns ahead of Friday’s key employment figures, and logged gains on Thursday as investors covered positions ahead of the Easter holidays. European bourses were expected to follow suit, with financial spreadbetters calling Britain’s FTSE 100 (.FTSE) to open flat Read More