European stocks advanced on Thursday amid optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal after U.S. President Donald Trump said that a partial trade agreement would be signed in the middle of next month.
In what could be a major milestone in a bilateral trade war, Trump also said that he would later travel to Beijing to begin talks on the next phase of the agreement.
News of monetary policy easing by China also helped underpin investor sentiment. The People’s Bank of China said it would cut banks’ reserve requirement ratio by 50 basis points on Jan. 6, freeing up more than USD 100 billion for loans to small businesses.
In economic releases, the Eurozone’s manufacturing sector contracted for the 11th consecutive month in December, while British factory output fell in the month at the fastest rate since 2012, separate reports showed.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose nearly 1 percent to 419.83 after declining for two straight sessions.
The German DAX gained 0.8 percent, France’s CAC 40 index climbed 1.3 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up a little over 1 percent.
The British pound held steady after Prime Minister Boris Johnson assured the nation that the U.K. is on the verge of a “new chapter” and that he would “finish the job” by delivering Brexit within weeks.
Dutch supermarkets and eCommerce company Ahold Delhaize N.V. climbed 1.3 percent. The company has commenced the 1 billion euros share buyback program announced on December 4.
Austrian sensor manufacturer ams, which is offering to acquire German lighting manufacturer Osram Licht AG, jumped nearly 5 percent. The company said it achieved a final acceptance level of 59.9 percent by the end of the additional acceptance period.
Tasty Plc shares soared as much as 28 percent. The casual dining restaurants operator announced the sale of its dim t More London restaurant for £2mln in cash and said trading is in line with forecasts.
EQTEC shares jumped 46 percent. The company said it has signed the legal documentation to allow the financial close of the proposed construction and operation of the North Folk 2W biomass project in California.
GSK gained 0.6 percent after reports that Pfizer Inc, GlaxoSmithKline PLC and Sanofi SA are planning to hike U.S. list prices on more than 200 drugs.
Tullow Oil slumped 5 percent. The company announced that the Carpa-1 well in Guyana has discovered high quality oil. However, the amount of oil is lower than its pre-drill forecast.
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