European markets jump on US-China trade deal hopes

Big 5

European markets moved slightly higher on average Monday, as market participants continued to monitor trade talks between the world’s two largest economies.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished up 0.21 percent provisionally, with sectors and major bourses pointing in opposite directions.

The FTSE 100 in London slipped in value while the German DAX barely moved from its opening price.

Europe’s telecom stocks led the gains on Monday, up around 1 percent amid a flurry of rating upgrades. Switzerland’s Sunrise was among the top performers after Berenberg upgraded the stock to “buy” from “hold.” Shares of the company rose more than 3.4 percent.

Looking at other individual stocks, Germany’s Wirecard surged to the top of the European benchmark after financial watchdog BaFin issued a ban against establishing or increasing short positions in the company’s stock. Shares of the firm jumped 14 percent on the news.

Meanwhile, soft drink bottler Coca-Cola HBC announced on Monday it would buy Serbian biscuit and confectionery maker Bambi for an enterprise value of 260 million euros ($294 million). Shares of the London-listed stock were under pressure during mid-morning deals but recovered to finish around the flat-line.

Oil prices

Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, with officials from the U.S. and China set to resume negotiations this week.

Both sides reported progress in five days of talks last week, with President Donald Trump indicating he might be willing to push back a March 1 deadline for a deal.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, rose almost 1 percent.

Elsewhere, oil prices climbed to their highest level for the year so far, supported by OPEC-led supply cuts and U.S. sanctions against Venezuela and Iran.

International benchmark Brent crude traded at around $66.54 by the European closing bell, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at $55.99, over 0.7 percent up from its opening price.

Source: CNBC