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European stocks rally, FTSE jumps 1% ahead of budget
Published at 03/03/2021 at 08:21

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)

March 3 (Reuters) - Hopes of a strong global economic rebound lifted European stocks for a third straight session on Wednesday as Germany looked set to relax coronavirus curbs, while investors awaited details of UK's new budget measures to boost the economy.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.7% by 0810 GMT, while the German DAX gained 0.9%, France's CAC 40

was up 0.8% and UK's FTSE 100 added 1%.

Weakness in U.S. bond yields supported global stocks, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel was poised to agree a gradual relaxation of coronavirus curbs with regional leaders, according to draft plans seen by Reuters.

All eyes will be on UK finance minister Rishi Sunak's budget speech, due to begin around 1230 GMT. The plan includes a five-month extension of a huge jobs rescue plan, to steer the economy through what he hopes will be the final months of COVID restrictions.

Automakers were the top gainers, with Stellantis

, Renault and Volkswagen up between 2.5% and 3.6%.

British insurer Hiscox Ltd tumbled 8.8% to the bottom of STOXX 600 as it swung to a huge loss for 2020 and continued to withhold its dividend.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

((sruthi.shankar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2787;))