UPDATE 2-Commodity rally leads European stocks to third straight week of gains

Reuters

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 (For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock
markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
    * Metal rally boosts miners 
    * Stimulus doubts weigh on global mood
    * British retail sales bounce back in October
    * STOXX 600 posts weekly gain of about 1% 

 (Updates to market close)
    By Shashank Nayar
    Nov 20 (Reuters) - European stocks ended higher on Friday,
with the benchmark STOXX 600 clocking its third straight week of
gains as a jump in commodity-linked stocks helped to counter
worries about rising coronavirus cases and an impasse over new
U.S. stimulus.
    The pan-European STOXX 600 index  .STOXX  rose 0.5%.
    Miners including Rio Tinto  RIO.L , Glencore  GLEN.L  and
BHP  BHPB.L  rose between 1.2% and 2.4% as metal prices rallied
on continued strong demand in top consumer China and potential
supply disruptions.  MET/L 
    The oil & gas sector  .SXEP  also jumped 1.5% as crude
prices were buoyed by successful COVID-19 vaccine trials.  O/R 
    "European markets are gradually gaining ground, with vaccine
hopes being counteracted by U.S. stimulus and lockdown fears,"
said Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG.
    Data from Bank of America showed investors pumped $27
billion into equity funds last week as positive COVID-19 vaccine
updates led to euphoric buying of shares in worst-hit sectors
such as banks, travel and leisure, and oil.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2I61IV
    These sectors were among the top performers this week as
investors bet a vaccine will revive economic growth faster, but
worries about coronavirus shutdowns took the shine off a rally
in these so-called value stocks.   
    Markets were also nervous about further stimulus for the
U.S. economy after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said key
pandemic lending programmes at the Federal Reserve would expire
on Dec. 31, putting the outgoing Trump administration at odds
with the central bank.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2I52W1
    The UK's FTSE 100  .FTSE  rose 0.3% as retail sales bounced
in October and the British health minister said there were
encouraging signs that virus cases were starting to flatten.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2I6168
    There was optimism on the Brexit front, with an EU official
pointing to progress on "important files" as Britain negotiates
on a future trading relationship with the European Union.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2I60KR
    Italy's BPER Banca  EMII.MI  rose 4.1% after its top
investor threw its weight behind the idea of a merger with rival
Banco BPM  BAMI.MI , which gained 3.7%.   urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2I60O5 
    German fashion e-tailer Zalando  ZALG.DE  edged up 1.1%
after its chief financial officer forecast an acceleration in
growth next year.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2I53W8
    British software company Sage  SGE.L  plunged 13.4% after
reporting a 3.7% decline in full-year organic operating profit.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nASN000JTR

 (Reporting by Shashank Nayar and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru;
Editing by Anil D'Silva and Jane Merriman)
 ((Shashank.Nayar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223
8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2256;))

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