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Europe stocks close slightly higher as investors await earnings season; OMV shares up 7%

European markets closed slightly higher Tuesday, with investors in a cautious mood ahead of data releases and the start of second-quarter earnings season.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended 0.1% higher after a day of muted trade. Health-care and tech stocks led gains, up 0.5%, as banking stocks dropped 0.6%.

Figures on German trade out Tuesday morning showed a 0.1% monthly fall in exports and 1.7% rise in imports, taking its foreign trade balance to 14.4 billion euros ($15.7 billion).

The U.S. Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its last meeting Wednesday, after Chairman Jerome Powell said there was “more restriction coming.” Markets are currently pricing in an 89.9% likelihood of a 25-basis-point hike in interest rates July, according to CME’s FedWatch tool.

It comes as central bankers and leading economists warn markets not to expect interest rate cuts too fast or too soon.

Oil prices ticked higher Tuesday after Saudi Arabia on Monday extended a voluntary 1-million-barrels-per-day oil production cut flagged for July into August.

Oil and gas stocks were a key driver of European share gains Monday, along with miners. That was despite concerns over the global economic outlook, as final manufacturing purchasing managers’ index figures from S&P Global showed a global slowdown in factory output in June.

U.S. markets were closed for the July 4 holiday on Tuesday. Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed.

Source: CNBC