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European shares edge up to record high as new coronavirus cases drop

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Feb 12 (Reuters) - European shares inched to a record high on Wednesday as a drop in the number of new coronavirus cases soothed nerves, even as investors kept a wary eye on the outbreak's economic impact.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose as much as 0.2% to a second consecutive record high of 429.42. A drop in new virus cases on Tuesday, as well as optimism over liquidity measures in China, had seen gains in China-sensitive stocks.

The country earlier on Wednesday reported its lowest number of new infections since late-January, leading many to believe that the outbreak, which caused widespread disruptions in one of Europe's biggest trading partners, could have peaked.

Basic resources and automobile stocks, which depend heavily on Chinese demand for their exports, rose about 0.7% and 1%, respectively. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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