By Sruthi Shankar

Oct 8 (Reuters)European stocks inched higher on Thursday, joining a global rally on hopes of more U.S. stimulus, with positive brokerage recommendation on ad firms and upbeat forecast from bookmaker GVC Holdings boosting sentiment.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX rose 0.4% to hover near a two-week high hit earlier this week. The German DAX .GDAXI gained 0.4%, but France’s CAC 40 .FCHI and London’s FTSE 100 .FTSE were up just marginally.

Ladbrokes and bwin owner GVC Holdings GVC.L jumped 6.4% after it raised its annual earnings outlook on the back of a surge in online gaming and as sports events such as the English Premier League resumed.

Travel and leisure stocks .SXTP led the gains, with shares in peer Flutter Entertainment FLTRF.I up 2.3%.

Helping keep the positive mood, Wall Street indexes surged overnight on signs that talks over aid to the airline industry were progressing in Washington even as U.S. President Donald Trump called off talks on a more comprehensive deal.

“It’s a sentiment driver for the market at the moment,” said Roger Jones, head of equities at London and Capital. “The market has become very fiscally orientated, yet the numbers provided can only provide a short-term boost.”

An upgrade by Goldman Sachs to “buy” helped German television network ProSieben PSMGn.DE jump 5.1% higher, while Publicis PUBP.PA rose 2.4% after the U.S. investment bank said it expects the French ad firm to outperform global peers in the third quarter.

Ratos AB RATOb.ST jumped 5.2% after U.S. business analytics company Dun & Bradstreet DNB.N said it would acquire Europe’s Bisnode from the Swedish private equity firm.

Mediobanca MDBI.MI rose 3% after eyewear tycoon Leonardo Del Vecchio raised his stake to just above 10% in Italy’s top investment bank.

Sensor maker AMS AMS.S slipped 2.6% as it posted third-quarter sales near the upper end of its guidance range and announced issuance of bonds to secure long-term financing.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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