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MILAN/LONDON: European stocks rose for a third straight session on Wednesday on hopes of a rebound in economic growth as Germany looked set to relax its coronavirus curbs, while investors awaited details on UK’s new budget.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.8%, while the German DAX gained 1% to hit a record high, France’s CAC 40 was up 0.9% and UK’s FTSE 100 added 1.3%.

All eyes will be on UK finance minister Rishi Sunak’s budget speech, due to begin at around 1230 GMT. The plan includes a five-month extension of a huge jobs rescue plan, to steer the economy through what he hopes will be the final months of COVID restrictions.

Hotel operator Whitbread, catering firm Compass Group and British Airways-owner IAG were among the top gainers on the FTSE 100, with banks providing the biggest boost.

Stellantis, the world’s fourth-largest carmaker, gained 2.1% after saying it was aiming for a margin on its adjusted operating profit of 5.5%-7.5% this year as the auto industry is expected to grow in 2021.

Renault and Volkswagen jumped almost 5%.

Swiss logistics group Kuehne & Nagel International rose 4.7% as it marked a new record for full-year operating profit.

UK insurer Hiscox Ltd tumbled 12.2% to the bottom of STOXX 600 as it swung to a huge loss for 2020 and continued to withhold its dividend.—Reuters

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