By Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal
Jun 2 (Reuters) – European stocks held near record highs on Wednesday, supported by energy and consumer stocks, while strong economic data from the United States and Europe boosted investor sentiment in a mostly quiet wheel.
* The pan-European STOXX 600 Index gained 0.3%, trading just below its all-time high from the previous session.
* Data showing strong expansion in manufacturing activity in May from the United States and Europe pushed global stocks to highs on Tuesday. Investors are now waiting for US employment data on Friday to confirm a strong recovery in the world’s largest economy.
* Oil and gas stocks rose 0.9% to lead sector gains in Europe, as crude prices extended rises after OPEC and its allies maintained their plan to cautiously return supply to markets in June and July.
* Stocks considered more stable in times of market uncertainty, such as food and beverages and real estate, also advanced, along with technology and mining.
* Fears about rising inflation triggered an episode of volatility in the markets in May. However, investors have considered comments from the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank that the price increase is transitory.
* Tuesday data showed euro zone inflation accelerating to 2% in May from 1.6% in April, driven by higher energy costs, to exceed the ECB’s target of “below but close to 2% “.
* Swedish truck manufacturer Volvo rose 3.5% after its board of directors proposed that the proceeds from the sale of UD Trucks be distributed to shareholders. While Danish luxury TV and sound equipment maker Bang & Olufsen climbed 9.6% after providing an optimistic profit forecast for the year.
(Report by Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru, Edited in Spanish by Manuel Farías)