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European shares rise as trade optimism spreads

By Reuters - Apr 09,2018 - Last updated at Apr 09,2018

People walk around outside of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City on Monday (AFP photo)

LONDON — European shares rose in early deals on Monday, as hopes that a full blown trade war between the United States and China could be averted spread across markets.

The pan European STOXX 600 had risen 0.5 per cent by 08:05 GMT, after closing in the red on Friday when investors feared the trade dispute between the world's two biggest economy could turn for the worse.

"The chatter over the weekend appeared to suggest some optimism that some form of deal would likely be the probable outcome, though how long that could take to pan out remains a significant unknown, and as such further volatility seems likely", said CMC Markets' Michael Hewson.

The situation in Syria, after President Donald Trump warned of a "big price to pay" for dozens of people killed by poison gas in a rebel-held town, was not impacting confidence.

The fact that US futures were pointing to Wall Street opening in positive territory was supporting European bourses, analysts said. 

Financial stocks contributed the most to the rise with Deutsche Bank up 3.2 per cent after it named a new CEO who said tough decisions would have to be made and the structure of its investment bank reviewed.

Another top mover was Portuguese energy and utility group EDP, up 5.3 per cent after a report French utility Engie was examining a possible bid. 

Britain's Rolls-Royce rose 1.9 per cent after it agreed to sell its Germany-based diesel parts maker L'Orange to US-based engineering company Woodward Inc. for 700 million euros ($859 million), as part of a plan to simplify its business. 

Telecom Italia retreated 0.5 per cent after proxy adviser Glass Lewis recommended investors back a proposal by activist fund Elliott to replace six board members and shake up the way top shareholder Vivendi runs the phone group.

Fresh US sanctions on Russia had a strong impact on a number of corporations linked to allies of President Vladimir Putin. 

En+ Group, which manages the assets of tycoon Oleg Deripaska, was down over 20 per cent and said the sanctions were "highly likely" to materially affect its business and prospects in an adverse way. 

Shares in Swiss pump maker's shares Sulzer and Swiss technology group Oerlikon were sharply down, falling 8.5 per cent and 5.4 per cent respectively after their majority holder Viktor Vekselberg appeared on a list of US-sanctioned individuals.

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