LONDON (AP) _ Strong showings by the basic resources, chemicals and retail sectors helped European stocks close mostly higher Tuesday.

Basic resources ended 3.1 percent higher, chemicals 2.7 percent higher and retail shares 2.3 percent higher.

The Dow Jones Stoxx Index of European companies closed 0.71 points higher, or 0.2 percent, at 393.57, while the Dow Jones Euro Stoxx Index, which tracks companies in countries that joined the single currency, ended 0.94 points better at 450.43.

The Dow Jones Euro Stoxx 50 Index finished up 3.91 points at 5,258.32, while the DJ Stoxx 50 Index ended 5.19 points lower at 4,993.75.

U.S. retail sales data that was in line with market expectations soothed investors' concerns about inflation and helped pull most European bourses out of negative territory late in the session. Still, sectoral trends changed little throughout the day.

Traders said the interest in basic resources was logical given the rising price of commodities and the prospect of improved earnings for companies that deal in raw materials.

London's FTSE 100 index rose 0.3 percent to 6,487.1, with mining companies among the top blue-chips. Billiton gained 17.75 pence, or 7.8 percent, to 245.75 pence; Rio Tinto rose 58 pence, or 6.4 percent, to 958 pence; and Anglo American picked up 165 pence, or 6.2 percent, to 2,815 pence.

Also in London, shares of newly listed Internet retailer Lastminute.com closed at 487.5 pence, up 28 percent from its offer price of 380 pence. The stock's session high was 562.5 pence.

Among other domestic markets, Frankfurt's Xetra DAX index closed down 0.6 percent to 7,650.05. German chip-maker Infineon Technologies closed 13.3 percent higher, or euros 9.35 at euros 79.50, a day after its bullish debut in Frankfurt.

Zurich's SMI rose 0.8 percent to 6,838.2, with Credit Suisse Group ending 6 francs higher at 288 francs after it reported net profit in 1999 rose 70 percent to 5.2 billion francs, well above market forecasts.

The Paris CAC 40 index ended 0.2 percent higher and Amsterdam's AEX rose 0.5 percent to 661.19.