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European shares open higher after four straight sessions of losses

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European shares opened higher on Wednesday after losing for four straight sessions, with media and entertainment stocks bouncing back from steep losses in the prior session.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.1 per cent in early trade, after losing more than 2 per cent over the past four sessions.

Middling economic data and a lack of clear progress against the coronavirus pandemic have kept the index in a tight trading range since June.

Media stocks surged about 1.6 per cent after closing at a more than three-week low in the prior session.

Data showed that German retail sales fell unexpectedly in July, indicating that household spending in Europe’s largest economy was still on the lam from the coronavirus. But German stocks rose more than 1 per cent.

In corporate news, Barratt Developments Plc, Britain’s biggest housebuilder, surged more than 5 per cent after it flagged an improvement in forward sales, despite reporting a near 30 per cent fall in annual housing completions and revenue.

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