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European shares supported by gains in retail, oil stocks – Reuters

By Reuters Staff
The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, November 18, 2020. REUTERS/Staff
(Reuters) – European stocks edged higher on Friday as gains in retail and oil shares offset worries about U.S. politics and an impasse over fresh stimulus measures to support a pandemic-stricken global economy.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX rose 0.2% by 0815 GMT, on track for marginal weekly gains after signs of progress on COVID-19 vaccine pushed the index to February highs earlier this week.
Global mood remained subdued after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said key pandemic lending programs at the Federal Reserve would expire on Dec. 31, putting the outgoing Trump administration at odds with the central bank.
UK’s FTSE 100 .FTSE found some support as retail sales bounced in October and British health minister said there were encouraging signs that virus cases were starting to flatten.
The retail index .SXRP rose 0.8% to lead sectoral gains, followed by oil and gas .SXEP as well as travel and leisure .SXTP stocks.
Italy’s BPER Banca EMII.MI rose 3.1% after the top investor in the bank threw its weight behind the idea of a merger with rival Banco BPM more

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