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European shares boosted by tech- all eyes on upcoming data

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(Reuters) – Technology stocks drove European shares higher on Tuesday, but sentiment was shaky ahead of key economic readings that are likely to indicate an uneven recovery from the coronavirus.

Apple (AAPL.O) suppliers in the region rose after the iPhone maker was reported to have asked suppliers to make at least 75 million 5G phones for later this year, propping up the technology index .SX8P.

STMicroelectronics (STM.PA), Dialog Semiconductor (DLGS.DE), Infineon Technologies (IFXGn.DE) and ASML (ASML.AS) were up between 1.6% and 4%.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.7%, taking some support from better-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data. China-sensitive sectors such as basic resources .SXPP and automobiles .SXAP rose about 1% each.

Despite a 2.9% gain in August, the benchmark index still lagged its Wall Street peers. Signs of a stalling economic recovery have put the STOXX 600 in a tight trading range since June.

Data later in the day is expected to show European inflation declining from the prior month, raising concerns over the deflationary effects of the pandemic. Unlike its peers, the European Central Bank has fewer tools left to bring up inflation to its target range.

“The market considers the U.S. Federal Reserve capable of rekindling inflation rates by leaving interest rates lower for longer than previously assumed, this does no longer seem to be the case as far as the ECB is concerned,” Esther Reichelt, FX & EM Analyst at Commerzbank, wrote in a note.

“Inflation data for August … will once again underline by how much the ECB will miss its inflation target.”

Manufacturing data, due later, is also expected to show a slowdown in the Euro zone’s recovery from the pandemic.

Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) rose 1.1% after its board approved a sale of a minority stake in its last-mile grid to U.S. investment firm KKR (KKR.N), while endorsing a government plan to create a single ultrafast network with rival Open Fiber.

British pharmaceutical major AstraZeneca (AZN.L) rose about 1% after its Imfinzi was approved in the European Union to treat an aggressive form of lung cancer in previously untreated adult patients.

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