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European shares open higher as banks continue recovery

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June 18 (Reuters) -European shares extended gains in early trade on Tuesday after posting steep declines last week, as bank stocks recovered, with focus now shifting to more data and commentary from central banks' officials to gauge their monetary policy path.

The pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX rose 0.6% as of 0707 GMT, as most sectors traded higher, with travel and leisure .SXTP leading gains with an 1.8% jump.

Lenders in the region .SX7E gained 1.4%, continuing to recover from an 8% drop last week.

European shares posted their biggest weekly drop so far this year on Friday, as President Emmanuel Macron called for a snap election following a trouncing of his ruling centrist party in the European Parliament elections.

Focus will now be on commentary from central bank officials around the world, with at least six U.S. Federal Reserve officials and European Central Bank's Vice President Luis de Guindos slated to speak throughout the day.

A final reading of May euro zone inflation and a German survey of economic sentiment due later in the day are also on the market participants' radar.

Schneider Electric SCHN.PA gained 2.2%, after Jefferies upgraded the French electric equipment and automation systems maker's stock to "Buy" from "Hold".

Reporting by Shashwat Chauhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich


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