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AMSTERDAM/LONDON: European stocks rose on Monday, led by growth-exposed sectors as encouraging comments from central bank head Christine Lagarde boosted optimism over a speedy economic recovery this year.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended 0.7% higher at 455.23 points after falling to its lowest since June 3 earlier in the session. The index also marked its best day in nearly three weeks.

Automobile and chemical stocks were the top gaining sectors, while basic resources surged 1.3% from a near three-month low.

The STOXX 600 extended gains after Lagarde said euro zone economic growth could rebound quicker than expected as consumers begin spending again. She also reiterated that the European Central Bank would maintain accommodative policy.

Her comments helped markets move further past concerns over policy tightening by the Federal Reserve, which had cut short a four-week rally in European shares.

London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6%. The Bank of England is expected to keep interest rates at a record low when it convenes on Thursday.

Shares in Morrisons, Britain’s fourth largest grocer by sales, surged 34.6% to the top of the STOXX 600, after it rejected an offer worth 5.52 billion pounds ($7.62 billion) from private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

Rivals Tesco and Sainsbury’s rose 1.7% and 3.8%, respectively.

Italian-American vehicle maker CNH Industrial rose 0.8% after agreeing to a deal to buy Raven Industries at an enterprise value of $2.1 billion.

German vaccine maker CureVac fell 10.5% after a report said Germany’s financial watchdog was investigating possible insider trading in the firm’s shares, which had tumbled after the biotech firm announced its Covid-19 vaccine proved only 47% effective.

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