February 19, 2018 / 8:48 AM / 6 months ago

European shares rise, steel stocks gain on U.S. move

MILAN, Feb 19 (Reuters) - European shares rose for a fourth straight session on Monday, helped by gains among steel makers such as Tenaris and Outokumpu after the United States government outlined proposals for hefty import curbs.

Shares in Tenaris, Outokumpu and Arcelor Mittal - which have facilities in the United States - were the biggest gainers in Europe, up between 2.2 and 4.6 percent by 0821 GMT.

Their gains and strength in the heavyweight banking sector helped the pan-European STOXX 600 index edge up 0.15 percent. The UK’s FTSE added 0.1 percent and Germany’s DAX rose 0.4 percent.

Makers of consumer staples fell after Reckitt Benckiser missed earnings expectations and its profit margins declined, hurt by a tougher pricing environment in developed markets and increased commodity costs. It said these issues would continue in the near term.

Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of Durex condoms, Lysol disinfectant and Mucinex cold medicine, fell 3.2 percent. Shares in Unilever, Diageo, Nestle and Danone also declined.

The U.S. Commerce Department has recommended that President Donald Trump impose steep curbs on steel and aluminium imports from China and other countries ranging from global and country-specific tariffs to broad import quotas.

Morgan Stanley analysts said the European Commission could respond with measures to limit steel imports to the European Union, and that ArcelorMittal and SSAB would benefit the most from rising U.S. spreads.

German industrial giant Siemens rose 1 percent after announcing plans to list its healthcare division in the first half of the year. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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