European stocks closed higher thanks to the rise of the banking sector

A screen showing German DAX data at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Thursday

European stocks rose on Thursday as they head into a long Easter weekend, as real estate and travel stocks helped overcome fears of a slowdown in the US economy stemming from weak data.

And the European index rose 0.5 percent, achieving gains for the third week in a row. Banking sector stocks were among the biggest gainers.

Having started the year strong, European stocks have been under selling pressure since last month as recent turmoil in the banking sector kept risk averse as investors worried about mixed economic data and a looming recession.

Markets still expect the ECB to continue raising interest rates at its next policy meeting.

Economic data in the US indicates that the labor market is feeling the effects of the Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening policy of raising interest rates in its attempt to cool down economic activity and thus curb inflation.

Investors are closely awaiting the key US jobs report due on Friday for more clues on the outlook for global interest rates.

Returning to the eurozone, industrial production in Germany rose significantly and more than expected in February, due in part to the manufacture of cars, up 2 percent from the previous month.

Real estate stocks led the sector’s gains, rising 2.7 percent.

Among individual stocks, Shell rose 2.3 percent as the oil and gas giant expected to increase liquefied liquefied production in the first quarter of the year after it stopped working at its Australian plants last year.

Temenos shares rose 1.7% after reports indicated that the company had in the past few weeks asked potential buyers to renew their interest after acquisition talks collapsed last year over a price dispute.

Zurich Insurance Group rose 1.9 percent after the group announced its withdrawal from the Net Zero Insurance Alliance, becoming the second founding member to leave the climate action group in less than a week.

Credit Suisse rose 0.7 percent after Switzerland instructed the bank to cancel or reduce all bonuses due for the first three levels of management.

Markets will be closed on Friday and Monday for the Good Friday and Easter holidays

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