European shares pause after three-day rally

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Feb 4 (Reuters) - European shares were flat on Thursday after a three-day rally on hopes of a swifter global economic recovery and an upbeat sentiment in Italy as former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi took on the task of forming a new government.

The STOXX 600 index was flat in early trading, while Milan’s FTSE MIB index fell 0.2%.

Markets remained hopeful after Democrats pushed ahead on Wednesday with a maneuver to pass U.S. President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package without Republican support.

Among early gainers, Bayer AG jumped 5.5% after the German company struck a $2 billion deal to resolve future legal claims that its widely used weedkiller Roundup causes cancer.

Deutsche Bank’s shares rose 0.6% after the German lender swung to a small annual profit in 2020, its first since 2014, on the back of strong gains at its investment banking division.

The European blue-chip index fell 0.2%, while the euro zone blue-chip index rose 0.1%. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)