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European shares hit record high on Airbus boost, Bayer hurt by Roundup ruling

European stocks stuck at peak as recovery uplift fades - Reuters poll

By Ambar Warrick and Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) -European shares closed at a record high on Thursday boosted by Airbus after the planemaker hiked its jet output targets, while German shares weakened after shares in pharmaceuticals maker Bayer were hit by a court ruling.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3% to 446.44 points, a record closing high.

French planemaker Airbus jumped 9.2% after it set out sweeping goals to expand production of jetliners, as the airline industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

German shares shed around 0.3%, lagging other regional markets, with Bayer the biggest drag on the DAX, falling 5.0%.

The stock marked its worst day in three months after a U.S. judge rejected its class action plan to settle future claims related to its Roundup and other glyphosate-based weedkillers.

European shares have moved little this week, but achieved record highs as continued affirmations of easy monetary policy and waning concerns over inflation painted a favourable picture.

However, investors have been moving into more cyclical parts of equity markets for protection from the risks of rising inflation.

The European banks sector nearly 2% and basic resources jumped 3.0%, leading sectoral gains on Thursday.

A rise in metal prices on concerns over supply disruptions in top copper producer Chile, also helped mining stocks outperform. [MET/L]

“We continue to expect a rapid recovery which has also been reflected in the robust performance of European and German companies in the first quarter earnings season,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer of global wealth management at UBS in a client note.

“We recommend that investors continue to position for the reflation trade and favour reasonably valued cyclicals that benefit from rising inflation and higher bond yields.”

Food and beverage stocks were among the worst performers, falling 0.7% on losses in British processed foods maker Tate & Lyle. The stock shed more than 6% after its annual revenue fell.

Among other movers, Deutsche Bank rose 1% after Chief Executive Christian Sewing told shareholders that the bank’s multi-year overhaul is ahead of plan and remains its primary focus, promising an era of more sustainable profit.

Puma fell 0.6% after French luxury goods group Kering said it will sell a 5.9% stake in the German sportswear firm through a share placement.

(Reporting by Ambar Warrick and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur, Alexander Smith and Toby Chopra)

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