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Strong Corporate Earnings Lift Global Markets

Global stocks were back on the front foot on Thursday, as upbeat earnings from tech heavyweights Apple and Facebook helped shake off some of the jitters that have hit the sector in recent weeks.European bourses started brightly, with the FTSE 100 up 0.5 percent and the DAX, the CAC 40 and markets in Madrid and Milan between 0.7 and 0.9 percent firmer.The gains were boosted by the region's tech stocks and come after iPhone giant Apple reported record first quarter sales and laid out plans for a $30 billion share buy back and seven-for-one stock split.Its shares jumped almost 8 percent to $566.50 in after-hours trade, the highest since December and adding roughly $35 billion to its market worth.Facebook Inc shares jumped 3.7 percent after hours as the Internet social networking company topped Wall Street's expectations.Asian markets managed only a subdued response, however, as the normal fillip from positive tech news failed to materialise.The Nikkei slipped 0.97 percent with some invest...

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