European stocks flat as focus shifts to meetings, H&M surges

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Sept 15 (Reuters) - European stocks struggled for direction on Tuesday, with banking shares declining ahead of the U.S. and UK central bank meetings this week, while Sweden’s H&M surged after reporting a better-than-expected profit.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose just 0.1% by 0723 GMT, with retailers, miners and travel stocks leading the gains.

The world’s second-biggest fashion retailer surged 12% after its preliminary quarterly profit was better than expected and it signalled a better recovery from the pandemic’s impact, boosting other retail stocks.

Fiat Chrysler rose 6% and Peugeot maker PSA slipped 1% after the carmakers restructured the terms of their planned merger to conserve cash.

Asian shares rose after data showed China’s industrial output accelerated the most in eight months in August, while retail sales grew for the first time this year, suggesting its economic recovery was gathering pace. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)