UPDATE 2-China measures, Italian banks lift European shares to record close
(For a live blog on European stocks, type LIVE/ in an Eikon news window)
* UBI Banca jumps on upbeat earnings outlook
* German stocks hit new record, supported by Chinese stimulus
* Faurecia posts rise in annual profit, boosts automakers
(Updates with closing price)
By Ambar Warrick and Sruthi Shankar
Feb 17 (Reuters) - European shares hit a record high close on Monday as a rally in Italian banks and fresh attempts by China to limit the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak lifted investor spirits.
Despite a U.S. holiday dulling market activity, the pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX rose 0.3%, with trade-sensitive German stocks .GDAXI hitting all-time highs as Beijing stepped up stimulus measures. to the upbeat mood, Italy's fifth-biggest bank UBI Banca UBI.MI jumped 5.5% after saying it aimed to nearly double net profit in the next three years, sending a broader index of Italian banks .FTIT8300 up 1.8%. as China reported more coronavirus cases over the weekend, prompting economists to cut growth forecasts, investors took heart from the central bank's move to cut interest rates. fact that China keeps signalling that they're ready to somewhat bubblewrap the economy by pumping in stimulus - that's what's keeping markets in the green today," said Connor Campbell, analyst at financial spread better Spreadex.
"This week is interesting because we've got manufacturing PMIs (on Friday), I think it will give an idea of some impact on supply chains from the coronavirus."
Meanwhile, euro zone finance ministers will also discuss a document that calls for a more growth-friendly fiscal policy as recession fears grip Germany and the coronavirus outbreak threatens global growth. stocks .SXAP , were the best performing European sector, led by French car parts group Faurecia EPED.PA after reporting a rise in annual profits and sales. merger news, France's Alstom ALSO.PA rose 3.5% after the maker of TGV bullet trains said it was in talks to buy the train business of Canada's Bombardier BBDb.TO in a potential $7 billion deal. Finland's Kone KNEBV.HE slid 4.6% as it dropped out of the auction for the 16-billion-euro elevator unit of Thyssenkrupp TKAG.DE after the German conglomerate shortlisted two private equity consortia for the sale. herbicide providers Bayer AG BAYGn.DE and BASF SE BASFn.DE fell 1.9% and 1%, respectively, after a U.S. peach grower was awarded $265 million in a lawsuit against the two.
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