European shares open at record high; Q4 GDP data in sight


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    Feb 14 (Reuters) - European shares inched up to a record
high on Friday ahead of fourth-quarter GDP data from the EU,
while concerns over the coronavirus outbreak eased after the
World Health Organization downplayed a recent spike in cases.
    The pan-European STOXX 600 index  .STOXX  rose as much as
0.1% to a record high of 431.42, eyeing a second straight week
of gains following a relief rally earlier in the week.
    Investors were awaiting the European Union's fourth-quarter
GDP flash estimates at 1000 GMT, which are expected to show the
European economy barely expanding between October and December
amid a manufacturing slump and global trade headwinds.
    The virus outbreak could further hurt growth, given China's
position as one of the bloc's largest trading partners.
    Real estate  .SX86P  and utilities  .SX6P  were the best
performing European sectors, rising 0.5% and 0.4%, respectively.

 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak
 ((; +91-80-6182-2837; Reuters
Twitter: @AmbarWarrick))

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