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European Markets Rise Despite Iraq Conflict, as Local Economy and Stocks Take Center Stage


European markets staged a mild rebound Tuesday morning, despite the continued conflict in Iraq and ongoing tensions in Ukraine. A surprise drop in U.K. inflation in May hit the pound and may take pressure off the Bank of England to raise interest rates early, although rising house prices in the London region could still force its hand. Hotel, restaurant and coffee shop group Whitbread plc was the biggest riser in London, on good results at its Premier Inns and Costa Coffee chains. Pharmaceuticals company Shire plc and insurer RSA both rose on reports of possible M&A activity. Dutch banking and financial services group ING rose on news of an intention to float its insurance arm NN Group. And in Paris, engineering firm Alstom sank after what some see as a disappointing offer from Germany's Siemens and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for parts of its business. General Electric Co. has a rival offer for Alstom on the table.