May 18, 2020 / 7:26 AM / 14 days ago

European shares gain on oil boost as economies reopen

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May 18 (Reuters) - European shares bounced on Monday after their worst week in two months, as investors hoped for a gradual economic recovery with many countries easing coronavirus-led lockdowns.

Energy majors Total SA, BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc rose nearly 4%, leading market gains as oil prices climbed by more than $1 a barrel, supported by output cuts and signs of gradual demand recovery.

Total was also boosted by news that it called off plans to acquire Occidental Petroleum Corp's assets in Ghana, and agreed to buy up assets from Energías de Portugal.

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 1.8% by 0710 GMT.

Shops, restaurants and hair salons prepared to reopen in Italy on Monday, while other centres of the outbreak such as New York and Spain gradually lifted restrictions that has plunged the global economy in a severe downturn.

German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp AG jumped 7% after a source told Reuters it was in talks with international peers about consolidating its loss-making steel business. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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