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European stocks close higher on China-US trade optimism

European dole outs traded higher Thursday, having touched a four-year high early in the session after China said the area’s two largest economies had agreed to cancel additional tariffs imposed in their months-long trade war.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 penurious provisionally up 0.29%, slightly paring earlier gains which saw the European blue-chip index hit its highest point since July 2015. Auto handles jumped 1.7% to lead gains while utilities slid 1.9%.

China’s Commerce Ministry said Thursday that Washington and Beijing had through the past two weeks agreed to a phased removal of duties on billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s goods.

Marketing ministry spokesman Gao Feng said that the cancellation would be important for the two sides to reach a “phase one” trade deal, Reuters come in.

Sources told Reuters on Wednesday that the signing of the long-awaited “phase one” deal could be delayed until December. Investors had been counting that the preliminary deal, which could lift some pressure from the global economy, may be signed as near the start as this month.

According to reports, the location of a meeting where U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping wish sign the deal has added an obstacle to proceedings. Reuters said Wednesday that London was now being floated as a practical venue.

Asian shares traded in mixed territory Thursday on the back of the earlier reports. MSCI’s broadest factor of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, dipped 0.3%, with many of the region’s indexes hovering around the flatline.

Behindhand in Europe, the EU trimmed its 2019 growth forecasts for the euro zone, projecting that GDP (gross domestic product) for the 19-member field will grow by 1.1% in 2019, having forecast 1.2% growth in July.

The Bank of England’s Monetary Protocol Committee (MPC) is set to make a decision on interest rates on Thursday. The central bank is widely expected to keep rates unceasing ahead of the U.K.’s general election in December, having held rates at its last MPC meeting in September, bucking the rate-cutting lean seen among central banks globally.

Earnings in focus

Siemens on Thursday reported fourth-quarter revenue of 24.5 billion euros, an 8% year-on-year increase, while German lender Commerzbank hint ated a 35% increase in net profit for the third quarter. Siemens shares rose nearly 5% while Commerzbank mistook 0.16% lower.

Italy’s UniCredit climbed almost 6% after backing its full-year guidance, reporting a net profit of 1.1 billion euros for the third location, and Lufthansa backed its full-year outlook after the airline’s third-quarter profit rose 4% to 1.15 billion euros.

Share outs of Arcelormittal climbed 6.7% after the world’s largest steelmaker reporting a second consecutive quarterly loss previously the bell, but topped earnings expectations.

Vestas Wind soared 11% after beating third-quarter earnings surmises, while Tate & Lyle also jumped 5% after reporting a 45% rise in first-half profit and endorsement its full-year guidance.

Dialog Semiconductor stock made a 7.4% surge after Barclays raised its target cost.

At the other end of the European blue-chip index, British insurer Hiscox tumbled 9.7% after brokerages J.P. Morgan and Jefferies highlighted its set asides for casualty catastrophes and cut their price targets for the stock.

ProSiebenSat.1 shares fell 3% after the German mechanism company reported a dip in third-quarter profit and warned of a potential hit to earnings in the final quarter of the year.

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