May 7, 2020 / 7:38 AM / a month ago

European stocks lifted by surprise rise in Chinese exports

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May 7 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher on Thursday as a surprise rise in China’s exports overshadowed another set of grim results and a warning from Air France-KLM that demand could take “several years” to recover.

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.6% by 0715 GMT, following a steady session in Asia after Beijing reported a 3.5% rise in April exports, confounding market expectations for a sharp fall, as factories restarted production after the coronavirus pandemic.

Europe’s miners and retailers, exposed to the health of the worlds No. 2 economy, led gains with a 1.5% rise.

Air France dipped 2.7% as the group predicted operating losses to widen “significantly” in April-June quarter, with 95% of flights expected to remain grounded.

However, British Airways-owner IAG rose 0.5% after saying it was planning for flights to return to service in July although passenger capacity would be about 50% lower.

Britain’s largest telecoms group BT tumbled 6.5% and was the biggest decliner on UK’s FTSE 100 after it suspended its dividend until 2021-22 and pulled its financial outlook in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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