The Financial Express

Encouraging trade talks boost European shares

Encouraging trade talks  boost European shares

European shares moved higher on Thursday, with technology shares leading the charge after encouraging comments from China on trade with the United States soothed sentiment that was rattled by growth worries and political turmoil, reports Reuters.

The Chinese commerce ministry said Beijing is in close communication with Washington and is preparing to make progress at trade talks in October.

Although investors are keeping a close watch and doubt a deal could be struck between the two sides in the near future, they are hopeful of any signs of progress in the negotiations.

"There will be a deal toward the second quarter of the upcoming year," said ING economist Timme Spakman, while adding that the US needs to take a step back and give China some breathing space to make room for a deal.

Trade-sensitive tech stocks .SX8P jumped 1.1 per cent, helping the pan-European STOXX 600 index rise 0.5 per cent.

Euro zone's blue-chip index .STOXX50E climbed 0.5 per cent, boosted by shares of semiconductor maker ASML Holdings, while export-reliant Germany .GDAXI gained 0.4 per cent.

The comments on US-China trade also helped spark a reversal in early losses after Bloomberg reported the World Trade Organization will authorize the US to impose tariffs on nearly $8 billion of European goods due to illegal state aid provided to aircraft maker Airbus SE.

European equity markets closed at two-week lows on Wednesday on fears about an impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump and no clear view on progress in US-China trade negotiations.

Investor confidence has also been shaken by weak readings on economic data and recent profit warnings from big European companies, which have fueled renewed fears of a corporate blood bath for the upcoming earnings season.

The latest warning came from Imperial Brands Plc (IMB.L), which tumbled 10.2 per cent, after it said its expects full-year profit to be flat compared to last year in the face of a regulatory backlash against vaping in the United States.

Shares of peer British American Tobacco Plc also fell 2.2 per cent.

The personal & household goods index. SXQP rose 0.1 per cent, logging the smallest gain among major European sub-sectors.

Pearson slid 16.7 per cent, to the bottom of the STOXX 600, after the British education company warned its full-year profit would come in at the bottom of its forecast range.

However, Belgian supermarket chain Colruyt jumped 5.2 per cent after the company said it expected full-year net income to rise slightly.

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