European shares tepid at the end of strong quarter

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The pan-European STOXX 600 index (STOXX) looked set to post its biggest quarterly gain since March 2015 with a 12.5% rise, as unprecedented economic stimulus, hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine and relatively fewer coronavirus cases in Europe powered a rebound from March lows.

Still, the index is down 13.5% for the year.

The trade-sensitive German DAX (GDAXI) rose 0.2% after data showed China’s factory activity expanded at a stronger pace in June as the government lifted lockdowns and stepped up investment.

Chipmakers STMicroelectronics (MI:STM), Infineon (OTC:IFNNY) Technologies (DE:IFXGn), ASM International (AS:ASMI) rose between 1.4% and 2.8% after an upbeat revenue forecast from U.S. firm Micron Technology (O:MU).

The broader STOXX 600 index (STOXX) was up 0.1% by 0720 GMT, although oil & gas (SXEP), banking (SX7P) and automakers (SXAP) index were a drag.

Royal Dutch Shell (L:RDSa) fell 1.0% after saying it would write down the value of its assets by up to $22 billion after lowering its long-term outlook on oil and gas prices.

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