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Utilities, telecoms support European stocks; autos slide

European stocks inched higher on Tuesday, lifted by utilities and telecom shares, although weak German industrial output data and doubts over the United Kingdom lifting restrictions later this month capped gains.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2% by 0713 GMT – holding below all-time highs – with sectors considered more stable such as utilities, real estate and telecoms leading the gains.

Data showed German industrial output fell unexpectedly in April, in a further sign that semiconductor shortages and other supply bottlenecks are hampering the recovery in Europe’s largest economy.

Automakers slid 0.8% after a six-day rally that took the index close to its record peak.

Swiss contract drugmaker Lonza gained 3.6% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to “buy”, while British American Tobacco rose 1.9% after raising its annual revenue growth forecast. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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