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Europe: Stocks end little changed as aid hope tempers virus

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European equities closed broadly flat as positive earnings reports and optimism about US stimulus offset concerns about rising virus cases.

[BENGALURU] European equities closed broadly flat as positive earnings reports and optimism about US stimulus offset concerns about rising virus cases.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell just 0.1 per cent after erasing a drop of as much as 1.2 per cent.

Shares pared some losses in the final hour after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a stimulus deal is close.

Travel, auto and banking stocks outperformed, while tech shares lagged. Schneider Electric gained after boosting its 2020 sales outlook, while Neste advanced on a profit beat.

European equities have erased October's advance as risks mount. The Netherlands joined Germany and at least six other nations in reporting a record rise in coronavirus infections.

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Across the Atlantic, the top US spy chief accused Iran of making its most direct efforts to interfere in the closing days of the presidential campaign.

"Markets are trading sideways, torn between bad news such as the return of lockdowns, mixed third-quarter earnings and hopes of a 'last minute' stimulus deal in Washington," said Oddo BHF strategist Sylvain Goyon.

Among notable movers on a busy earnings day, Pernod Ricard advanced 3.9 per cent after saying its fiscal year started well in key markets such as the US and China and that revenue should return to growth in the first six months of 2021.

Essity tumbled 7.6 per cent after its third-quarter profit missed estimates.

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