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European Stocks Begin Second Quarter on Positive Note; Focus on German Inflation Data

European stocks commenced the second quarter on a positive trajectory, with investors closely monitoring a series of economic indicators, including inflation data from Germany. This data is anticipated to offer insights into the potential timing of interest rate adjustments by the European Central Bank.

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As of 0712 GMT on Tuesday, the continent-wide STOXX 600 index was up 0.3%, marking a rebound as investors reentered the markets following an extended weekend and the Easter holidays.

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The technology sector played a pivotal role in driving gains, with BE Semiconductor Industries (BESI) surging by 4.6% after receiving an “overweight” rating upgrade from brokerage Barclays, up from its previous “equal weight” status.

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Germany’s DAX index also recorded a 0.3% increase, with all eyes on the forthcoming release of consumer price index (CPI) data scheduled for 1200 GMT. Economists surveyed by Reuters anticipate a 2.2% year-on-year rise in March, slightly lower than the previous month’s 2.5% increase.

The CPI figures from Germany, as the largest economy in the region, hold significance as they may serve as a precursor to broader euro zone inflation data, which is expected to be disclosed on Wednesday.

UBS, the Swiss banking giant, witnessed a 1.2% uptick after announcing a new share buyback program amounting to $2 billion. The buyback initiative, set to be executed over the course of several years, includes a provision to repurchase up to half of the shares by 2024.

The positive sentiment surrounding European stocks underscores investor optimism as they navigate through economic data releases and corporate developments at the onset of the new quarter.

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