* Credit Suisse rises on report of potential merger plans
* Construction stocks track U.S. gains after infrastructure
* Banks, energy, miners among top gainers on the week
* UK's Amigo jumps on extension to funding line
June 25 (Reuters) - European shares stayed just below record
highs on Friday, with a boost from the financial and materials
sectors, while Credit Suisse rose after a Reuters report that it
was considering a potential merger with UBS.
The scandal-hit Swiss bank was up 1.9% as the
report said Credit Suisse's management was under pressure to
come up with an overhaul plan. UBS shares were up 0.2%.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was 0.1%, ending the
week with gains of 1% following sharp swings on concerns of
higher inflation hitting real income and leading central banks
to raise interest rates sooner than expected.
With the U.S. Federal Reserve sending out mixed messages
this week on how hot it would let inflation run, a
weaker-than-expected reading on latest U.S. personal consumption
expenditures (PCE) data eased worries about a sudden tapering in
"What has been remarkable is how indices globally have
shrugged off the Fed's apparent change of outlook (which has
been careful walked back to an extent this week), and have
resumed the march higher, presumably following the dangling
carrot of economic growth as the world returns to normal," said
Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.
The STOXX 600 fell sharply from record highs last week after
a surprisingly hawkish tone from Fed officials roiled global
The European Central Bank has reiterated that it was too
soon to taper monetary policy in Europe, while on Thursday, the
Bank of England struck a dovish tone to policy even as it
acknowledged inflation would surpass its 2% target.
London's FTSE 100 was also rose on Friday.
The European banking index rose 0.6% and ended the
week with gains of about 2% as investors returned to
economically sensitive sectors. Other so-called value stocks
including miners and energy were also among the
top gainers on the week.
Construction-related stocks added 0.2% following a
jump in the U.S. infrastructure sector as U.S. President Joe
Biden embraced a bipartisan Senate infrastructure deal.
German stocks rose 0.1% as a report showed consumer
sentiment improved more than expected heading into July.
British subprime lender Amigo Holdings surged 7.6%
after saying it had secured a three-month extension to a funding
line as it scrambles to secure its future after a court rejected
a rescue plan for the firm last month.
(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Shreyashi Sanyal in
Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)