UPDATE 2-European stocks eke out fresh record as ECB raises recovery outlook


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    * Travel stocks snap four-day rally 
    * ECB lifts growth and inflation outlooks 
    * U.S. stocks shrug off higher inflation data

 (Adds details about ECB, comments; updates prices throughout)
    By Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar
    June 10 (Reuters) - European stocks inched to fresh peaks on
Thursday as the European Central Bank raised its recovery
outlook and promised to keep ample stimulus flowing, while
travel stocks fell after a recent run of gains. 
    The pan-European STOXX 600 index  .STOXX  was up just 0.1%,
but at a fresh record high of 455.76 points, while the narrower
index of euro zone stocks  .STOXXE  fell 0.1%. 
    ECB President Christine Lagarde said policymakers agreed to
make further emergency purchases over the next quarter "at a
significantly higher pace" than during the first months of the
year" but gave no further detail about the expected levels.
    The central bank now sees 2021 euro zone economic growth at
4.6%, above the 4% projected in March. Inflation projections
were also raised, with the ECB expecting price growth at 1.9%
this year, in line with its target and above its last projection
for 1.2%. 
    "The ECB's main mission today was to avoid any taper talk
and not harm the still tentative economic recovery or allow bond
yields to surge prematurely," said Carsten Brzeski, global head
of macro at ING.
    "It accomplished its mission: the ECB seems to have bought
some time without starting the taper talk."
    Interest rate-sensitive banking stocks  .SX7E  rose 0.4%,
while tech stocks  .SX8P  rose 0.9%.    
    The meeting came as data from across the globe point to
building inflationary pressures, particularly in commodities, as
economies recover from long COVID-19 lockdowns.
    That has raised fears that major central banks will start to
pare back their massive stimulus programmes sooner than
expected, even though policymakers have reaffirmed support until
signs of a strong labour market recovery emerge.   
    Euro zone inflation last month exceeded the central bank's
target of just under 2%, a mark it has undershot for most of the
last decade. 
    Across the Atlantic, the S&P 500  .SPX  also hit a record
high as investors doubted whether a spike in May consumer prices
would spur early policy tightening by the Federal Reserve.  .N 
    European travel and leisure stocks  .SXTP  dropped 1.2%
following recent gains for the sector on optimism about economic
    Automakers  .SXAP  fell for the third straight day, with
German carmaker Volkswagen  VOWG_p.DE  down 0.4% after a report
said it expects a shortage in semiconductor supply to ease in
the third quarter but sees the bottlenecks continuing in the
long-term.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N2NS0MW
    UK's FTSE 100  .FTSE  was boosted by a 6.6% jump in BT Group
 BT.L  after Altice Group  ATUS.N  said it had taken a 12.1%
stake in Britain's biggest broadband and mobile operator.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N2NS14R  .L 
    French digital music company Believe  BLV.PA , which helps
distribute music via deals with platforms such as Spotify and
Apple Music, tumbled 17.8% in its stock market debut.

 (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru;
Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Kirsten Donovan)
 ((Shreyashi.Sanyal@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 8780; +91 961
144 3740; Twitter: https://twitter.com/s_shreyashi;))

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