European Shares Mostly Higher On Trade Optimism

European stocks extended gains to hover near one-month highs on Thursday, with easing political concerns and expectations of further easing measures by central banks helping underpin investor sentiment.

The European Central Bank is expected to cut deposit rate and restart its asset purchase program when it meets next week.

Earlier today, Sweden’s central bank left its key interest rate unchanged, as expected, and signaled that it will hike rates in future at a slower pace.

On the trade front, the United States and China have agreed to hold trade talks in Washington early next month in a bid to ease tensions in their rapidly escalating trade war.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.6 percent at 385.34 after rising 0.9 percent the previous day.

The German DAX was rising 0.8 percent while France’s CAC 40 index was climbing 0.9 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 was moving down 0.6 percent as the pound strengthened on hopes the U.K. will avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Glencore shares fell 1.8 percent on going ex-dividend.

Turnaround specialist Melrose Industries soared 6 percent. The company said the three main divisions of GKN remain on track to meet targets.

Industrial giants BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce rose around 1 percent after French engine maker Safran raised its 2019 guidance for revenue and operating income. Safran shares soared 6.5 percent in Paris.

William Hill Plc., a betting and gaming company, declined 1.6 percent after it has appointed Ulrik Bengtsson as Chief Executive Officer Designate and a Director of the Company with immediate effect.

Shares of Dixons Carphone jumped 4 percent. The consumer electrical and mobile retailer reported that its Electricals revenue in the first quarter increased 3 percent on a reported and like-for-like basis.

Vodafone Group shed 1.7 percent after it announced a strategic partnership agreement with Oman Future Telecommunications in the Sultanate of Oman as part of Vodafone’s Partner Markets program.

German industrial and technology group ThyssenKrupp jumped 5.2 percent after it started a structured bidding process for its elevator unit.

Switzerland’s biggest bank UBS advanced 1.7 percent. According to the Financial Times, the lender is planning a revamp of its investment bank amid falling profits over the last few quarters.

Investors shrugged off data from Destatis showing that Germany’s factory orders decreased more-than-expected in July on weak demand from abroad.

Factory orders decreased 2.7 percent over the previous month in July, in contrast to an increase of revised 2.7 percent seen in June.

Economists had forecast orders to drop 1.4 percent after June’s initially estimated growth of 2.5 percent.

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