Por Sagarika Jaisinghani y Ambar Warrick
Jun 29 (Reuters) – European stocks closed higher on Tuesday after data showing economic sentiment improved sharply in June, while Adidas propped up the German benchmark with a share buyback plan.
* The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3% to 456.37 points, after data showed that economic confidence in the euro zone reached a 21-year high in June as a sustained vaccination program led to the reopening of several economies.
* While the data did not take into account the Delta variant of the coronavirus, the improved mood sent investors looking for sectors that are more likely to benefit from a recovery.
* Chemicals stocks rose 0.9%, while auto and financial services were among the top performers.
* “Only in May 2000, at the height of the dot-com boom, did we see a more positive economic sentiment than now (…), the reopening is giving a synchronized boost to both production and optimism about the coming months between industry, services and consumers, “ING analysts wrote in a note.
* The German benchmark registered the best performance, adding 0.9%. Adidas jumped 2.5% to an all-time high after the sportswear maker said it will launch a new share buyback program worth up to 550 million euros ($ 654 million).
* Expectations of a sustained recovery have put the STOXX 600 on course for its fifth consecutive month of gains, but recently the benchmark has struggled to beat its June 16 closing all-time high on concerns about the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
* Travel-related titles fell 0.2% after their worst session in more than a month, following reports of a possible UK travel ban in Germany. Spain also tightened travel rules for British tourists.