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Europe: VW helps European shares climb to fresh 7-1/2 year highs

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European shares scaled new 7-1/2 year highs on Tuesday, boosted by gains in Volkswagen on the back of positive industry sales data and by UK retailer Sainsbury's after a trading update.

[LONDON] European shares scaled new 7-1/2 year highs on Tuesday, boosted by gains in Volkswagen on the back of positive industry sales data and by UK retailer Sainsbury's after a trading update.

Shares in Volkswagen rose 2.2 per cent after industry data showed new car registrations in Europe rose 7 per cent in February, with demand shifting from no-frills makes like Dacia toward mass market brands like VW.

Sainsbury's rose 2.3 per cent, with analysts saying its results, while showing a fifth straight quarter of declining underlying sales, were better than the market had feared.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.2 per cent at 1,597.17 at 0810 GMT, hitting its highest level since late 2007.

REUTERS

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