UPDATE 1-European stocks rise on bargain-hunting; travel shares rally

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* STOXX set for small weekly loss

* UK airlines rise on quarantine easing plan

* Airbus gains after Q2 deliveries jump (Adds comment, updates prices)

July 9 (Reuters) – European stocks rose on Friday as investors sought bargains after one of the worst selloffs this year on global economic recovery worries.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index gained 0.8%, with sectors that took a hit earlier this week — like automakers and miners — rising more than 1% each.

Banks were up 0.7%, but were the hardest hit this week as government bond yields fell sharply.

The benchmark STOXX 600 was on course to record small weekly losses after a fresh surge in COVID-19 cases, particularly in Asia, and underwhelming U.S. and Chinese economic data raised concerns about the strength of the recovery.

“This sort of angst is nothing new for markets. However, the slide in yields is telling us that the recovery is either in trouble, or merely being delayed,” CMC Markets’ Michael Hewson said in a note.

“Much is likely to depend on the vaccine rollout plans, and the speed with which it can be rolled out in the countries where cases are rising sharply.”

UK airlines such as British Airways-owner IAG, easyJet and Ryanair rose between 1.5% and 2% as Britain planned scrapping quarantine for fully-vaccinated arrivals from other countries in the coming weeks.

European travel and leisure stocks were the top sectoral gainers, up 1.8%.

Data released earlier showed UK’s post-lockdown economic rebound slowed sharply in May despite an easing of COVID-19-related restrictions.

French planemaker Airbus gained 3.5% after it reported a 52% jump in deliveries in the first half of the year.

British luxury goods group Burberry rose 3.3% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to “buy”, while Italian rival Salvatore Ferragamo slipped 0.7% after the U.S. bank downgraded it to “sell”.

Investors will turn their focus on the earnings season, which kicks off in earnest next week. Bulk of the European companies are expected to report later this month, with analysts forecasting a near-109% surge in second-quarter profit for STOXX 600 companies, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

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