June 17, 2020 / 7:22 AM / in a month

European shares rise as hopes of recovery remain strong

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June 17 (Reuters) - European shares opened higher on Wednesday, with hopes of a swift rebound from a coronavirus-led economic slump gaining traction even as curbs on movement in Beijing were put in place to contain a potential second wave of COVID-19 cases.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.4%, after logging its best day in nearly one month in the previous session on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s plan to start buying corporate bonds and a report the Trump administration was preparing a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure proposal.

Still, the advance was small as Beijing cancelled scores of domestic flights on Wednesday, ramping up attempts to contain a coronavirus outbreak that has triggered fears of renewed wider contagion.

Healthcare stocks remained in focus for investors, boosting the STOXX 600 by the most, while the European travel & leisure sub-index fell in early trading.

Among stocks, Lufthansa rose 4.1% after German investor Heinz Hermann Thiele raised his stake in the company to more than 15% from 10%, he told newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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