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European stocks ease from record high ahead of earnings season

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

April 12 (Reuters) - European stocks eased from all-time highs on Monday as investors held off from making big bets ahead of the earnings season, while British retailers were set to reopen as the economy emerges from a strict winter lockdown.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index slipped 0.1% by 0711 GMT, following Asian markets into the red as investors waited to see if U.S. earnings can justify sky-high valuations. There were some concerns as COVID-19 cases continued to surge globally.

UK’s domestically focussed FTSE mid 250 index inched 0.2% lower, but hovered below a record high as shops, pubs, gyms and hairdressers reopened after three months of lockdown.

Airlines EasyJet and Ryanair fell close to 3% after HSBC downgraded their stocks to “hold” from “buy”.

Italian diagnostics group DiaSorin SpA jumped 7.5% after it said it will acquire U.S. based Luminex Corp for $1.8 billion in an all-cash deal. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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