- Reports Russian and Ukrainian troops pulling back
- NATO casts doubt on claims
- No QE for now, Draghi reportedly says
- Weak German CPI and Eurozone M3 numbers
FTSE Mibtel 30: 2.15%
Ibex 35: 1.36%
Stoxx 600: 1.19%
European equities across the Continent saw sharp gains despite the release of some rather weaker-than-expected economic data releases and remarks attributed to European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi to the effect that QE is not on the table at the moment.
News that Russian and Ukrainian troops were pulling back from eastern Ukraine also lent a helping hand. However, other reports indicated that officials from NATO had cast doubt on the news of a Russian pull-back from Ukraine's borders, saying they had seen no sign of it.
The President of the ECB told German lawmakers this morning that a programme of quantitative easing is not imminent and remains relatively unlikely, according to Bloomberg, who cited an official who was present at the discussions.
However, the latest German regional consumer price (CPI) figures, out in the morning, came in lower than forecast across the board. Even so, as of Tuesday afternoon economists were maintaining their forecasts for the Eurozone CPI report due out on Wednesday (consensus: 0.8%).
The rate of money supply growth in the Eurozone - as measured by the M3 aggregate - slowed down to an annual rate of growth of 1.1%, after rising by 1.3% in the month before. Furthermore, the data revealed worsening trends in the amount of credit extended to the private sector within the single currency area.
For Barclays Research the above figures continue to argue in favour of targeted measures to encourage bank lending.
"The continuation of weak lending volumes therefore could indicate that bank loan supply constraints are now binding and may increasingly weigh on the recovery," it said.
Investors may have been gladdened by the possibility that the ECB may not yet be completely out of the picture.
Italian stocks led on the upside following strong readings on consumer confidence in the country. Give its energy dependence on Russian it was also stand to gain the most from a cooling of tensions in Ukraine, along with Germany.
Oil and bank stocks move higher
From a sector standpoint, and within the DJ Stoxx 600, the largest gains were seen in the following industry groups: Oil&Gas (2.23%), Banks (2.03%) and Construction&Materials (1.94%).
German financial giant Deutsche Bank revealed a 24% drop in first quarter profits. The lender said on Monday that it would issue a multi-currency bond of at least €1.5bn to help it strengthen its capital levels.
French drug-maker Sanofi unveiled lower-than-expected first-quarter earnings.
Spanish lender Santander announced an 8% rise in net profits for the first three months of the year to €1.3bn, slightly less than expected. It has also launched an offer to buy out the remaining 25% of its Brazilian unit which it does not already own.
Nokia stock gained on news that it has named a new Chief Executive Officer.
Crude changes course, rises
The euro/dollar fell back in late trading, towards 1.3810, after earlier having moved as high as 1.3870.
Front-month Brent crude futures advanced 1.08% to the $109.3/barrel mark on the ICE.