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16 Feb 2021 | 17:54

Europe close: Stocks little changed despite gains for miners and banks

(Sharecast News) - European shares were listless on Tuesday following the sharp gains seen in the previous session on the back of economic recovery hopes and the long-awaited US stimulus package. The pan-European Stoxx 600 dipped 0.06% to 419.2. The UK FTSE 100 slipped 0.11% to 6,748.86 even as the country's health service met its first Covid vaccination target of elderly people.

France's Cac-40 on the other hand was flat at 5,786.53 while the FTSE Mibtel gave back 0.69% to finish at 23,440.81.

Basic Resources was again the strongest sector on the Stoxx 600, climbing 1.24%, alongside a 1.06% advance for lenders' shares as government bond yields continued their ascent.

Revised data showed the euro area economy shrank slightly less than feared at the end of 2020.

According to European Union statistics agency Eurostat, the single currency bloc's gross domestic product contracted 0.6% in the final three months of 2020 on a seasonally adjusted basis, better than the preliminary reading of -0.7% and followed a rebound of 12.4% over the three months to September and a 11.7% drop in the second quarter.

With the US market closed on Monday for the President's Day holiday investors were also watching progress on President Joe Biden's $1.9trn economic rescue plan.

In equity news Glencore jumped 3.63% after reinstating its dividend, while BHP Group rose as the world's largest listed miner posted its best first-half profit in seven years and declared a record interim dividend.

Travel company TUI and airline easyJet also rose, boosted by hopes that vaccines will allow a return to more normal life by spring.

UK regulators said Adevinta's planned $9.2bn (£6.5bn) deal to buy eBay's Gumtree unit could reduce consumer choice and raise prices in the online classified advertising sector.

However, by the close the firm's shares had erased early losses and gained 2%.
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