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Europe open: LVMH, Remy Cointreau results boost Stoxx

(Sharecast News) - European markets opened higher on Friday as luxury stocks led the way and investors digested the European Central Bank's decision to hold rates steady, although more gloom from a consumer survey in German tempered the mood. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.33% at 480.11. Germany's DAX was down 0.32% after the GfK/NIM survey showed an unexpected fall in consumer confidence as inflation deterred people from major purchases.

The consumer sentiment index dropped to -29.7 in February, from a downwardly-revised -25.4 in January and well below the consensus -24.5, said the GfK institute and Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions (NIM).

"If there were any hopes of a sustained recovery in sentiment, these were dashed in January," said Rolf Buerkl, consumer expert at the NIM. "The consumer climate suffered a severe setback at the beginning of the year."

In equity news, luxury and high-end spirit stocks surged after upbeat results from LVMH, which reported a 10% rise in fourth-quarter sales late on Thursday.

Remy Cointreau surged after posting a slightly smaller-than-expected decline in third quarter sales.

The sentiment boosted sector peers such as Richemont, Moncler, Campari, Diageo, Pernod-Ricard and Christian Dior.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for

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