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Trade talks, Brexit hopes pull European shares higher

Stock Markets Oct 11, 2019 04:39AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

By Medha Singh and Lisa Pauline Mattackal

(Reuters) - European stocks rose for the third straight day on Friday on optimism around U.S.-China trade talks and London's latest Brexit moves, while German software giant SAP headed for its best day since April after its long-term CEO stepped down.

The pan-European STOXX 600 (STOXX) climbed 0.8% and was headed for its best week in more than a month after the opening rounds of Sino-U.S. trade negotiations ended with rising hopes for at least a partial trade deal.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Vice Premier Liu He and other senior officials will resume discussions on Friday.

"Investors are ready to celebrate any form of a U.S.-China trade deal, even an interim one, having endured trade-related volatility since May," said Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM.

However, some analysts cautioned that the optimism for a deal might be overblown.

"Even if there were a partial deal, that would not change the overall situation because the U.S. would not address what their issues with China really are in terms of intellectual property and unfair competition," said Simona Gambarini, markets economist at Capital Economics.

Trade-sensitive Frankfurt shares (GDAXI) eyed their best day in seven weeks, helped by the gains for SAP, Europe's most valuable technology company.

The enterprise software producer rose 7.8% to its highest level in more than two months after it released a strong set of third-quarter results early and said CEO Bill McDermott was stepping down after a decade at the helm.

Bucking the upbeat trend, London's FTSE 100 (FTSE) shed 0.2% as shares of internationally-focused firms took a beating from gains for the pound .

The chief Brexit negotiators of the EU and Britain met for breakfast on Friday, hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Irish counterpart unexpectedly said they had found a pathway to a possible deal at last-ditch talks.

Publicis (PA:PUBP) tumbled 11.6% to a seven-year low after the ad firm lowered its full-year sales target for the second time in 2019. Its London rival WPP (L:WPP) lost 4.1%.

Fashion house Hugo Boss (DE:BOSSn) sank 13.3% to its lowest in almost a decade after the company cut its 2019 earnings forecast and reported third quarter results below expectations.

Those numbers came hard on the heels of a strong sales update from Louis Vuitton owner LVMH (PA:LVMH) on Thursday.

For a graphic on Hugo Boss shares vs luxury goods click,

Trade talks, Brexit hopes pull European shares higher

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