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European shares rally as China c.bank stimulus lifts recovery hopes

·1 min read

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

May 20 (Reuters) - European shares opened higher on Friday, as hopes of an economic recovery in major trading partner China were bolstered by more central bank stimulus, but a gauge of regional shares was set to end the week lower on recession fears.

Miners and energy stocks led gains, lifting the pan-European STOXX 600 index up 0.8%. This cut weekly losses to below 1% in what would be its fifth weekly decline in six.

Data showed British retail sales jumped unexpectedly in April, but the outlook for consumer spending remained resolutely downbeat. Separate data showed a record rise in German producer prices last month, thanks to the Ukraine war pushing up energy costs.

China offered some glimmers of hope, as the central bank's latest move to cut its five-year loan prime rate by a more-than-expected 15 basis points bolstered recovery hopes. But reports of more COVID-19 cases kept sentiment in check.

Luxury stocks took a hit as Richemont slumped 10.5%, after the company said discussions about its "Luxury New Retail" partnership are "taking time".

But strong American demand for Richemont's jewellery and watches boosted its net profit and sales in the 12 months to March, the company said.

(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)