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Banking Sectors Boost European Blue-Chip Indices

European stock blue-chip indices have registered strong gains in the Tuesday session. The DAX and CAC have climbed about 1.0%, while the FTSE has gained 1.38%. On the release front, German Services PMI improved to 53.1, while eurozone Services PMI remained steady at 51.2 points. Eurozone retail sales plunged 1.6%, its worst showing since December 2013. On Wednesday, President Trump delivers the State of Union address before Congress and Germany releases factory orders.

Bank shares have boosted blue-chip indices on Tuesday. In France, Credite Agricole and BNP Paribas have gained over 2.0%, while Standard Chartered has climbed 1.9%. With European bank sectors rebounding, European stock markets could continue to gain ground this week.

Eurozone data was mixed on Tuesday. German Services PMI improved to 53.1, but the eurozone reading of 51.2 pointed to stagnation in the eurozone services sector. Retail sales ended the year with a whimper, as December releases headed south. Eurozone retail sales dropped 1.6%, and German retail sales plunged 4.3% last week, its sharpest decline in more than 12 years. On the manufacturing front, German manufacturing PMI for January dipped to 49.7, below the 50-point level which separates contraction and expansion. This was the weakest score since October 2014. Trade tensions and weakness in the German auto sector continue to weigh on the manufacturing sector. Weakness in manufacturing can be seen across the eurozone, as France and Italy both posted PMIs in contraction territory. With the U.S-China trade war still in full gear, manufacturing indicators could continue to head south.

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