January 10, 2020 / 8:18 AM / a month ago

European shares up as relief rally from easing Mideast worries continues

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Jan 10 (Reuters) - European shares firmed on Friday as relief over a de-escalation in U.S-Iran military tensions continued to bolster global equities.

The pan-European STOXX 600 Index rose 0.3% by 0803 GMT, and was likely to post moderate gains after a rough start to the week, bought about by fears of a full-blown conflict in the Middle East.

However, easing tensions and news of an interim Sino-U.S. trade deal had helped the regional index touch a record high on Thursday.

Travel and leisure stocks were the best performing sector, led by gains in major airline stocks as oil prices continued to decline, with focus shifting to rising U.S. crude oil and product inventories.

Markets were also watching for December non-farm payrolls data from the United States, due at 1330 GMT. The figure is a key gauge of consumer strength and will help determine whether economic expansion in the world's largest economy is chugging along.

British fashion brand Superdry dropped 24% after it flagged weak Christmas trading, and warned of a soft annual profit.

Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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