European stocks nudge higher as stimulus hopes outweigh virus woes

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Aug 26 (Reuters) – European stocks inched higher on Wednesday as hopes of additional stimulus for Germany and France outweighed worries about rising cases of COVID-19 across the continent.

The German DAX rose 0.3% after coalition parties agreed to extend measures to cushion the effects of the coronavirus crisis, including prolonging a short-time work scheme and a freeze on insolvency rules.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said the additional measures could cost Germany 10 billion euros ($11.81 billion).

Neighbouring France is also set to present its economic recovery plan on September 3, Prime Minister Jean Castex said. Paris-listed shares were flat.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2% but held back fears after two European patients, confirmed to have been re-infected with COVID-19, raised concerns about people’s immunity to the virus.

Swedish radiation therapy equipment maker Elekta jumped 14.1% after it reported a bigger-than-expected first-quarter profit.

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