European shares tepid at the end of strong quarter By Reuters

European shares tepid at the end of strong quarter By

© Reuters. The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

(Reuters) – European shares were largely flat on Tuesday as investors booked some profits following a strong quarterly rebound, while improving China factory data and hopes of more U.S. stimulus buoyed sentiment in Asia.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index () 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 () 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:), Infineon (OTC:) Technologies (DE:), ASM International (AS:) rose between 1.4% and 2.8% after an upbeat revenue forecast from U.S. firm Micron Technology (O:).

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

Royal Dutch Shell (L:) 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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