UPDATE 1-European stocks hit record high, Cineworld wins
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* Cineworld shines when reopening in UK
* Lagarde says too early to discuss a policy change
* Several European markets closed for holidays (add comment, update prices)
May 24 (Reuters) – European stocks closed on record highs on Monday as investors counted on the continued economic recovery and strong corporate earnings to maintain market momentum.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2% to 445.10 points, just below its all-time high of 446.19 points.
Commercial activity was subdued, with markets in Austria, Denmark, Hungary, Norway, Switzerland and Germany closed for holidays.
British group Cineworld Group Plc rose 2.8% after animated adventure comedy ‘Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway’ attracted more people than expected after a months-long COVID-19 lockdown.
To help sentiment, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Friday it was still too early to discuss politics after her 1.85 trillion emergency bond purchase program ended. euros, rejecting calls from some colleagues to consider a reduction.
The central bank is expected to meet early next month to discuss its policy.
“With an economy that is only rebounding, it is early to anticipate a transition out of crisis mode for the ECB, but necessary,” wrote Sébastien Galy of Nordea Asset Management in a morning note.
The STOXX 600 ended the week slightly higher on Friday amid concerns over inflation, as a survey showed eurozone business growth accelerated to its fastest pace in more than three years in May.
The German Institute of Public Health said Britain and Northern Ireland were a variant region of the virus, forcing anyone entering the country from the UK to be quarantined for two weeks at His arrival.
Italy’s FTSE MIB has lagged behind, with several stocks trading off-dividend. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)