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Market Update

European Markets Bounce Back on German Data

European markets pared early losses and turned positive Tuesday after better-than-expected February reading of the German ZEW index led British stocks higher.

The FTSE was up 0.1% at 11:26 a.m. The CAC 40 Paris gained 0.2% while the German DAX added 0.4%.

The German ZEW index, which is a measure of investor sentiment, jumped to 5.4 in February up from a negative 21.6 in January, beating estimates of a negative 11.6.

Consumer price data indicated annual inflation dropped to 3.6% in January, down from 4.2% in the previous month, which also boosted investor confidence. European markets had drifted lower in early trading today in the wake of a spate of ratings cut by Moody's.  

Stocks on the move

French banks were amongst the top losers, with BNP Paribas shedding 1.5%. Societe Generale was also down 1%. Credit Agricole gave up 0.2%.

Cosmetics giant L'Oreal gained 1.7% after the company said it is confident of achieving higher profit growth in 2012, despite reporting a less-than-estimated rise in full year net profit.

ThyssenKrupp AG erased 2.9% after Germany’s largest steelmaker reported first-quarter loss.

German bourse operator Deutsche Boerse AG added 2.5% after the company posted fourth quarter profit and announced a stock buyback and dividend.