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Europe open: US spending plan overshadows France lockdown

Thu 01 April 2021 08:19 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - European shares continued to rally on the last day of trading before the Easter break, as new US plans for massive infrastructure spending offset worries about a third Covid lockdown in France.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.44% in early trading with most major bourses higher. Wall Street stocks were on the rise overnight as US President Joe Biden unveiled a $2.3trn spending plan on roads, railways, broadband, clean energy and semiconductor manufacture.

This spurred a rise in European chip companies including ASML, ASMI and Infineon Technologies. The sector was also boosted by an upbeat revenue forecast from US chipmaker Micron Technology.

News that France was back in full lockdown hit retailers and travel stocks with catering companies Sodexo and Elior dropped almost 2%.

Shares in UK fashion retailer Next rose 3% after the company lifted annual profits guidance on the back of soaring online sales in the first eight weeks of the current fiscal year while 2020/21 profits were halved due to the pandemic.

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