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MILAN/FRANKFURT: European stocks climbed for a second straight session on Thursday, as construction stocks gained on upbeat sales forecast from Saint Gobain and commodity-linked shares rose on hopes of larger US stimulus after Democrats won Senate control.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index advanced 0.2% to hold near February 2020 highs, while London’s blue-chip FTSE 100 gained 0.4% and Germany’s DAX index was up 0.5%. Construction & material stocks were the top gainers, led by a 5.9% surge in France’s Saint Gobain after it said fourth-quarter results would significantly exceed expectations.

Renewable stocks are widely considered as winners of a Joe Biden administration, given the US president-elect’s proposed $2 trillion climate plan. Sentiment was also boosted by European approval for a second COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. Meanwhile, demand for German-made goods defied expectations, rising 2.3% in November, the latest in a string of data points showing the Europe’s largest economy being unexpectedly resilient in the face of the pandemic. Among other movers, LafargeHolcim rose 1.4% after the world’s biggest cement maker said it would buy Firestone Building Products from Bridgestone Americas in a deal worth $3.4 billon.

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