European shares edge up as investors assess China reopening

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(Reuters) – European shares inched up on Wednesday, with UK’s FTSE 100 outpacing peers after a long Christmas holiday weekend as investors assessed Beijing’s steps towards reopening its COVID-battered economy.

The region-wide STOXX 600 was up 0.3% by 8:09 GMT, while the FTSE 100 gained 0.9% as commodity-linked and China-exposed stocks gained. The UK market was closed for holidays since its half-day trading on Friday.

Miners jumped in early trading as copper prices rallied on hopes of a demand recovery in the world’s second-largest economy after China further eased its stringent COVID curbs on Monday.

China-exposed luxury firms extended gains, with LVMH, Kering (EPA:PRTP) and Richemont rising between 0.3% and 0.5%.

London-listed financials exposed to China such as insurer Prudential and HSBC added 2% and 1.3%, respectively.

Ireland stock market, which was also closed since its half-day trading on Friday, rose with the ISEQ gaining 0.6%.

Traders and analysts said thin trading volumes also influenced market moves.