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European stocks steady with focus on economic reopening

European stocks inched higher on Monday after a sharp recovery late last week, as optimism about European economic reopening offset gloom from underwhelming China data.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.04% by 0722 GMT. The benchmark posted a marginal weekly drop on Friday as it recovered much of its losses spurred by a U.S. inflation scare.

The British economy reopened on Monday, giving 65 million people a measure of freedom after the gloom of a four-month COVID-19 lockdown. UK's blue-chip FTSE 100 was flat, while the domestically focussed midcap index rose 0.3%.

Irish airline Ryanair rose 1.3% despite reporting a record annual after-tax loss as it said there were signs the recovery had begun.

German chemical group Bayer (OTC:BAYRY) fell 3.1% after a U.S. federal appeals court upheld a $25 million judgment and trial verdict finding the company's Roundup caused a California resident's non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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