(RTTNews) – European markets ended higher on Friday amid fresh optimism about a potential U.S.-China trade deal after positive comments from a couple of White House officials.
Investors were also reacting to economic data out of the U.S. and Europe, and quarterly earnings reports from some big-name European companies.
An unexpected stimulus announced by the Chinese central bank to help lenders in China through the tax season contributed as well to the positive sentiment.
The pan European Stoxx 600 ended up 0.4%. Among the major indices in Europe, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.14%, Germany’s DAX gained 0.47% and France’s CAC 40 ended higher by 0.65%, while Switzerland’s SMI gained 0.75%.
Among other markets in Europe, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain and Turkey ended on a firm note.
Greece and Norway declined, while Portugal, Austria, Sweden and Ukraine ended flat.
In the U.K. market, NMC Health gained about 3.4%. IAG, Whitbread, Antofagasta, Next, Marks & Spencer and Johnson Matthey gained 2 to 3%.
TUI, Flutter Entertainment, Legal & General, Persimmon, Direct Line Insurance, RBS, Rio Tinto and Land Securities also rose sharply.
Carpetright shares soared nearly 15% after the company agreed to be acquired by its largest shareholder Meditor, in a deal which values the company at 15.19 million pounds.
On the other hand, Coca Cola HBC, Vodafone Group, Hiscox, Fresnillo, British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands declined 1.4 to 3.2%.
In Germany, HeidelbergCement rallied more than 2.5%. Volkswagen, Merck, BMW, Continental, Lufthansa and Infineon gained 1 to 2%.
In the French market, ArcelorMittal, Saint Gobain, Sanofi, Accor Kering, Air Liquide, Orange, STMicroElectronics, Michelin and Technip gained 1.2 to 2.5%.
In economic news, data from Eurostat showed the euro area trade surplus declined in September on higher imports. The trade surplus fell to a seasonally adjusted EUR 18.3 billion from EUR 19.7 billion in August.
Compared to previous month, exports increased 0.6%, while imports advanced 1.5%.
On an unadjusted basis, exports advanced 5.2% annually and imports grew 2.1%. The trade surplus totaled EUR 18.7 billion versus EUR 12.6 billion in the same period last year.
Another data from Eurostat said eurozone’s inflation slowed in October to its lowest level in nearly three years, rising 0.7% year-on-year following a 0.8% increase in September.
On the U.S.-China trade front, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Thursday that U.S. and Chinese negotiators are in contact every single day and are “getting close” to a phase one trade deal.
“It’s not done yet, but there has been very good progress and the talks have been very constructive,” Kudlow said at an event at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Meanwhile, in an appearance on the Fox Business Network on Friday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the talks are “down to the last details” and a deal will be completed “in all likelihood.”
Adding to the positive sentiment, China has lifted a nearly five-year ban on imports of U.S. poultry in a goodwill gesture that could lead to more than $1 billion in annual shipments to China.
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