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European shares find footing after rough start to week

·3-min read

By Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain

(Reuters) -European shares ended higher in volatile trading on Tuesday following a bleak start to the week on worries over a looming energy crisis and recession, while Delivery Hero climbed to the top of the STOXX 600 index after a positive brokerage action.

The continent-wide STOXX 600 index closed up 0.2% after a 0.6% loss in the previous session as Russia stopped pumping gas via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Europe.

A rebound in shares of automakers helped Germany's DAX index gain 0.9% after slumping more than 2% lower on Monday over rising concerns that Europe's largest economy was heading for a recession.

Investors closely tracked the latest on the Nord Stream gas stoppage, which has sparked fears about winter shortages in the region and prompted European Union governments to push through multi-billion euro packages to support businesses and protect households from soaring energy bills.

Shipments of Russian natural gas through the key pipeline will not resume until Siemens Energy repairs faulty equipment, Gazprom Deputy Chief Executive Officer Vitaly Markelov told Reuters.

"Today's move is more a relief rally than anything else... I would question how long this rally lasts for. Even with the support measures now coming through, the outlook for Europe remains pretty downbeat and I am not convinced we have seen a bottom yet in equity prices," said Stuart Cole, head macro economist at Equiti Capital UK.

Multiple surveys on Monday showed that the euro zone is almost certainly entering a recession, as a deepening cost of living crisis and a gloomy outlook keep consumers wary of spending.

Data this morning showed German industrial orders fell 1.1% in July, down for the sixth month in a row as the war in Ukraine continues to take its toll.

"Shrinking order books add to current recession fears. With surging energy prices and fading new orders, the outlook for the German industry is anything but rosy," Carsten Brzeski, global head of macro at ING wrote in a note.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank is expected to deliver a large 75 basis-point interest rate hike to tame the surge in prices in its upcoming meeting on Thursday.

Volkswagen rose 3.7% on its decision to trigger an initial public offering of its sportscar brand Porsche, with Chief Executive Oliver Blume saying the listing could break the ice in capital markets.

Delivery Hero jumped 7.7% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the German online takeaway food company to "overweight", citing a combination of faster growth and now higher profits.

D'Ieteren Group gained 6.2% after the Belgian car distributor reported an upbeat first-half profit and raised its full-year outlook.

Shares of British retailers Marks & Spencer and JD Sports got a lift on hopes of an energy-aid support package for businesses.

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Sriraj Kalluvila and Jonathan Oatis)