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European stocks climb as Wall Street hits record high

European stock markets rose on Tuesday on upbeat company results, takeover speculation and as Wall Street pushed to a record high level, dealers said.

LONDON: European stock markets rose on Tuesday on upbeat company results, takeover speculation and as Wall Street pushed to a record high level, dealers said.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index added 0.08 percent to 6,857 points, while Frankfurt's DAX 30 advanced 0.55 percent to 9,755.35 points despite news of falling investor sentiment in Germany.

In Paris the CAC 40 gained 0.30 percent compared with Monday's closing value to 4,507.05, with Airbus Group flying high on news of rocketing quarterly profits.

"The FTSE 100 is ... higher, emboldened by the US markets once again setting new highs," said Alastair McCaig at trading firm IG.

Wall Street continued a strong streak at the opening, with the Standard and Poor's 500 index edging above 1,900 points for the first time ever.

All three main European indices had also climbed on Monday as investors shrugged off concerns about the Ukraine-Russia crisis following disputed referendums last weekend.

"Investors continue to look beyond the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine and instead focus on the improving economic data and reports of more merger and acquisition activity," added Alpari analyst Craig Erlam.

Markets digested reports that US telecoms giant AT&T was prepared to acquire satellite TV provider DirecTV in a deal that values it at nearly $50 billion.

Talks are at an advanced stage and a deal could be announced in two weeks or even earlier, the Wall Street Journal said Tuesday quoting people close to the deal.

Wall Street opened mostly higher on Tuesday after having surged Monday to all-time highs as dealers raced back into technology shares after a recent sell-off that saw household names like Twitter and Netflix tumble.

Five minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.15 percent to 16,720.64 points and the broad-based S&P 500 tacked on 0.6 percent to 1,900.82, but the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.02 percent to 4,143.18.

The Dow and S&P 500 had closed at fresh record peaks on Monday, spurred by a strong rally in technology stocks.

"The ongoing improvement in global investor risk sentiment is being supported by the strengthening economic growth outlook in the advanced economies with the US economy rebounding strongly after the sharp slowdown in the first quarter of the year, and the economic recovery in Europe continuing to gain upward momentum," said economist Lee Hardman at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in London.

Asian markets mostly rose on Tuesday following another record close on Wall Street, with Japan's Nikkei jumping 1.95 percent, boosted by a weakening yen.

India's stock market raced to a record high for a third straight day, gaining 1.36 percent, after exit polls forecast that Hindu nationalist party leader Narendra Modi would become the next prime minister.

Sydney rose 0.91 percent and Hong Kong added 0.41 percent.

Back in Europe, Airbus Group flew to the top of the Paris market after the aircraft maker posted a near-doubling of net profit in the first quarter.

Earnings after taxation rocketed 93 percent to 439 million euros ($604.5 million), compared with the same part of the previous year, the company said in a results statement.

In reaction, Airbus saw its share price surge 7.2 percent to 52.68 euros.

Back in London, shares in AstraZeneca rallied 1.8 percent to 4,695 pence after Pfizer hinted that it may raise its $106-billion takeover bid for the British drug giant.

In Paris, shares in Renault rose 2.2 percent to 68.26 euros after its Japanese ally Nissan reported a 14 percent gain in net profit last year on a 20 percent increase in sales.

Shares in French media company Lagardere dropped 2 percent however to 24.31 euros after it reported falling sales in the first quarter of this year.

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