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UPDATE 1-European shares set for sixth week of gains on bullish trade talk

UPDATE 1-European shares set for sixth week of gains on bullish trade talk
Image Credit: Flickr

European shares were moving closer to a sixth-straight week of gains on Friday following a record close on Wall Street after bullish comments from a White House official on U.S.-China trade talks boosted appetite for riskier assets. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.4% by 0932 GMT, inching back to a four-year high.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said late on Thursday Washington and Beijing were getting close to a trade agreement, citing what he called very constructive talks with Beijing about ending a 16-month trade war. Miners were the top gainers on the day, up about 1.5%, followed by technology stocks.

Shares in chipmakers Infineon, STMicroelectronics and ASML Holding rose between 0.8% and 1.4%, after industry bellwether Applied Materials forecast a strong first quarter ahead of the 5G rollout in key markets. "Maybe, just maybe we are finally nearing a long-awaited indication from President Trump that the protracted period of market adversity is mercilessly nearing its end," said Stephen Innes, a market strategist at AxiTrader.

The STOXX 600 was still on course for a tiny gain in a week that saw lacklustre economic indicators, a profit warning from automaker Daimler and rocky Spanish politics. Telecom shares were boosted by a 2.5% gain in Orange after France's biggest telecoms operator said it was preparing to split its mobile towers unit into a separate company.

However, news that Britain's opposition Labour Party said it would nationalise parts of the telecoms provider BT's network if it won power in the Dec. 12 election, capped gains on the sector index. BT shares were flat, while Vodafone dropped 0.4% and TalkTalk fell 3.5%.

Shares in Saipem gained 2.1% after Bloomberg reported the Italian oil services group was considering combining with its rival Subsea 7. Subsea shares rose 3.9%. "From an industrial point of view, the integration of the two entities would strengthen the exposure of SPM in the offshore business and could generate cost synergies," an analyst at Equitas wrote in a note.

Sweden's SEB sank 14.3% after the bank said it had been informed a broadcaster would air a programme on suspected money laundering in the Baltics that would include information concerning the bank. Stockholm-listed shares dropped 0.4%, while Norwegian shares were hit by salmon producers Mowi and SalMar after the companies said the U.S. Department of Justice had issued subpoenas.

The top gainer on the STOXX 600 was Danish software company Simcorp, up 3.8% after better-than-expected results.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



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