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European shares close at a record high

written by Bella Palmer

The continent-wide index closed 0.2% higher at 511.09, with the euro zone focused STOXXE index 0.4% higher

Europe's STOXX 600 closed a choppy session at a record closing high on Tuesday, led primarily by banks, while French liquid products distributor Rubis marked its best day in more than three decades.

The continent-wide index closed 0.2% higher at 511.09, with the euro zone focused STOXXE index 0.4% higher.

The benchmark index was on course to end a second straight quarter with gains in the holiday-shortened week, up 6.7% so far, underscored by central bankers signalling rate cuts this year and a jump in tech stocks due to excitement over artificial intelligence.

Despite more cautious messages by other ECB members in the past few days, there are clear indications that the Bank is prepared to trim rates this summer and that June remains the most likely meeting, analysts at ING said in a note.

Trader bets for a 25 basis point interest rate cut by the ECB in June stand at 60%.

On the day, lenders were the biggest boost to the STOXX 600, up 1.0%, driven by a 1.0% gain in BNP Paribas after brokerage Goldman Sachs upgraded the French lender to "buy" from "neutral".

The German DAX 40 index closed 0.7% higher, while the French benchmark index gained 0.4%.

France's Rubis surged 12.5% after Vincent Bolloré increased stake in the liquid products distributor to more than 5%, through the businessman's firm Plantations des Terres Rouges. The wider retail sector added 1.6%.

Travel and leisure stocks jumped 0.7%, helped by a 1.1% increase in Flutter as the online betting firm said it expects to raise its core profit by nearly 30% this year.

Ocado advanced 3.2% after the British online supermarket's joint venture Ocado Retail kept its forecasts for the year as it reported a 10.6% rise in Q1 revenue, reflecting growth in customer numbers.

ASOS climbed 9.4% after the British online fashion retailer said its cash flow in the first half of the year improved due to better profitability and clearance of aged stock.


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