Retail gains nudge European stocks higher

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(Reuters) – A fourth day of gains in retail stocks nudged European equities higher on Wednesday after Zara-owner Inditex returned to quarterly profit, but UK blue-chip stocks came under pressure after a surge in the previous session.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX inched 0.3% higher by 0717 GMT, extending a winning run this week.

Markets globally appeared to be in a holding pattern ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy announcement, with investors expecting somewhat rosier economic forecasts but a renewed pledge to keep interest rates low for as long as the U.S. economy needs to recover from a pandemic-driven downturn.

London’s blue-chip shares .FTSE slipped 0.1%, dragged lower by banking shares.

Inditex ITX.MC said it saw a 74% jump in online sales in the first half, pushing its shares 4.2% higher. The retail sector .SXRP was up 1.4%.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Reuters

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