(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* FTSE 100 hits highest since Feb 2020 as miners jump
* German real estate firms rise as rent cap rule overturned
* Deliveroo slips despite reporting jump in orders
* STOXX 600 Q1 earnings expected to jump over 50% - data (Updates to close)
By Sruthi Shankar
April 15 (Reuters) - European stocks closed at a record high on Thursday as a rally in commodity prices lifted mining stocks and a slate of upbeat earnings reports offset worries about the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations.
Travel & leisure stocks .SXTP closed up 0.1% after hitting a record high earlier in the session.
The UK's commodity-heavy FTSE 100 .FTSE rose 0.6% to its highest level since February 2020 as a surge in metals prices lifted shares of companies such as Rio Tinto RIO.L , Anglo American AAL.L and BHP BHPB.L . MET/L
While European stocks have now recovered all of their pandemic-induced losses from last year, they have lagged their U.S. counterparts due to a choppy COVID-19 vaccine roll-out as well as a new wave of infections across the continent.
U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) JNJ.N this week delayed the roll-out of its COVID-19 shot in Europe, while Denmark said it would drop a similar vaccine from AstraZeneca AZN.L over the risk of blood clotting. euro zone economy might lag others more than we had expected previously because of the concerns around AstraZeneca," said Paul Jackson, global head of asset allocation research at Invesco.
"Notwithstanding that, once they are vaccinated, European countries have more to gain than most others."
With U.S. economic data and corporate earnings reports reinforcing expectations of a swift global economic rebound, attention this month will turn to the quarterly earnings season in Europe.
Analysts expect earnings at STOXX 600 firms to rebound more than 50% in the first quarter following a slide of nearly 40% in the same quarter a year earlier, according to Refinitiv I/B/E/S data.
On Thursday, Swiss engineering company ABB (NS: ABB ) ABBN.S rose 3.1% after raising its full-year sales outlook, while French advertising group Publicis PUBP.PA gained 3.3% as it returned to organic growth for the first time since before the pandemic. in Publicis' British rival WPP WPP.L rose 0.5%.
German real estate companies Deutsche Wohnen DWNG.DE , LEG Immobilien LEGn.DE and TAG Immobilien TEGG.DE rose between 0.9% and 2.5% after the Constitutional Court ruled that a law putting a rent cap on apartments in Berlin was invalid. food delivery company Deliveroo ROO.L slipped 3.8% even as its quarterly orders more than doubled in its first trading update since its underwhelming market debut last month. lender Sbanken SBANK.OL soared 30.3% after the country's largest bank DNB DNB.OL agreed to buy the smaller competitor in a deal worth 11.1 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.3 billion).
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