* STOXX 600 hits record high
* BAT gains after upbeat forecast
* German stocks fall on bleak data
* Autos slide after six-day rally
June 8 (Reuters) - European stocks hit new highs on Tuesday,
lifted by travel and real estate shares, but weak German
industrial output data and doubts over Britain lifting
restrictions later this month capped gains.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed 0.1% higher
after notching a record high earlier in the session, with
sectors considered more stable such as real estate and
telecoms leading gains.
The travel and leisure index rose 1.8%, supported
largely by gains in low-cost carrier easyJet after
Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to "buy".
German stocks fell 0.2% after data showed
industrial output fell unexpectedly in April, in a further sign
that semiconductor shortages and other supply bottlenecks are
hampering the recovery in Europe's largest economy.
"The decline in industrial production in April underlines
that the German economy was performing well below normal at the
start of the second quarter," said Andrew Kenningham, chief
Europe economist at Capital Economics.
"The biggest concern is that auto production fell again in
April and was 24% below its February 2020 level amid ongoing
Automakers fell 1.1% after a six-day rally that took
the index close to its record peak.
Britain's blue-chip FTSE 100 edged higher, boosted
by a weaker pound and a 0.4% rise in British American Tobacco
after it raised its annual revenue growth forecast.
Investor concerns were, however, stoked as The Times
reported that Britain's next phase in easing of lockdown on June
21 could be delayed by a fortnight amid concerns over the
spreading of new variants of COVID-19.
Global markets were mixed ahead of a policy meeting of the
European Central Bank and U.S. inflation data this week.
The ECB is expected to reaffirm its emergency bond purchases
programme at the current pace as signs emerge that the euro zone
is not recovering as quickly as expected, while the inflation
reading would be the last key data ahead of the Federal Reserve
meeting next week.
Swiss contract drugmaker Lonza gained 2.3% after
Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to "buy", while German airline
Lufthansa fell 2.1% after the brokerage downgraded the
stock to "sell".
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru
Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Peter Graff)