European shares kick off new quarter with subdued gains

European shares kick off new quarter with subdued gains

European shares started the new quarter on a somber tone on Wednesday, as surging U.S. coronavirus cases kept optimism in check ahead of a slew of economic data.

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, May 26, 2020. REUTERS/Staff

REUTERS: European shares started the new quarter on a somber tone on Wednesday, as surging U.S. coronavirus cases kept optimism in check ahead of a slew of economic data.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2per cent by 0718 GMT, after closing out its best quarterly gains since March 2015 in the previous session.

The German DAX gained 0.7per cent as data showed retail sales rose sharply in May, reflecting a rebound in private consumption after the country lifted coronavirus-inflicted restrictions.

Drugs and pesticides maker Bayer jumped 3.4per cent, providing the biggest boost.

German unemployment and U.S. manufacturing activity and private jobs data are all due later in the session.

A cautious tone prevailed across the global markets, as the United States on Tuesday recorded its biggest single-day spike since the pandemic began, dimming hopes that the economic pain had passed.

Swiss specialty chemicals maker Clariant gained 6.9per cent as it completed the US$1.6 billion sale of its masterbatches unit to PolyOne Corp , allowing the payment of a special dividend amounting to US$3 per share.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

Source: Reuters

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