European shares bounce from six week lows on hopes of a trade deal

The German share price index DAX graph at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, May 3, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

May 10, 2019

By Medha Singh and Agamoni Ghosh

(Reuters) – European shares rallied on Friday, recovering slightly from six week lows as investors hoped that United States and China would still be able to resolve their bitter trade dispute, even as a planned U.S. tariff hike on Chinese imports took effect.

The STOXX 600 index added 0.9 percent by 0840 GMT. The pan-European index, which has been bruised by trade worries most of this week, remains on track for its biggest weekly decline this year.

Trade-sensitive Germany’s DAX was leading the charge with its 1.1 percent rise while the volatility gauge on euro zone blue-chips eased from a four-month high.

The tariff hike on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods came in the middle of two days of talks between top U.S. and Chinese negotiators to try to rescue a faltering deal aimed at ending a trade war between the world’s largest economies.

“The fact that the two sides have agreed to continue negotiations on Friday is offering a glimmer of hope that the relationship between the two powers hasn’t deteriorated beyond repair,” said Jasper Lawler, head of research at futures brokerage London Capital Group wrote in a note.

Trade optimism and a jump in Bechtle shares after results helped technology lead the rally among European sub-sectors, all of which were higher.

Defensive stocks – real estate and telecom – posting the slimmest gains.

Bechtle jumped 9 percent after the German IT-systems provider reported a nearly 30 percent rise in quarterly revenue and reaffirmed its full-year outlook.

Thyssenkrupp climbed about 10 percent after sources told Reuters it is considering listing of its elevators business after abandoning plans to split itself up.

Meanwhile, the world’s largest cement maker LafargeHolcim gained 3 percent after agreeing to sell its Philippines operations in a deal valuing them at $2.15 billion.

Among airline stocks, Air France shares rose after the carrier reported a 9.2 percent year-over-year rise in passengers across the group last month while British Airways owner IAG jumped after reiterating its operating profit guidance in 2019.

At the bottom of the STOXX 600 was Denmark-based medical equipment marketer Ambu after the company’s chief executive Lars Marcher resigned.

France’s main airports group ADP tumbled for a second straight day over plans for a public vote on its privatization process. France’s finance minister said he remained committed to privatising the company.

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Keith Weir)

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