European shares gain on China’s reopening optimism

(Reuters) – European shares climbed on Friday, as optimistic investors gauged the potential impact of a week-long Lunar New Year holidays after China lifted its COVID-19 curbs, even as concerns over global economic slowdown continued to sap sentiment.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.2% at 0813 GMT, boosted by banks and industrials.

China-exposed luxury stocks such as LVMH and Hermes International rose more than 1% each amid optimism about China’s reopening.

Energy stocks rose over 1%, tracking crude prices on hopes of demand recovery in the world’s second-biggest economy.

China said on Friday the worst was over in its battle against COVID-19 ahead of what is expected to be one of the busiest days of travel in years, a mass movement of people that has fed fears of a further surge in infections.

Shares of Sweden’s Ericsson fell 8% as the networking and telecommunications firm’s core earnings missed expectations for the third quarter in a row.

Sandvik gained 3.4% following a better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings from the metal-cutting tools and mining gear marker.

(Reporting by Ankika Biswas in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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