European shares climb as U.S.-China trade talks dominate sentiment

European shares traded mostly higher on Monday amid ongoing focus on developments in U.S.-China trade talks.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 edged 0.2 percent higher in early trade, with banks climbing 0.7 percent to lead gains while construction and material stocks slipped 0.3 percent.

Markets in the region received a strong handover from the Asia trading session where stocks were mostly higher Monday.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He had a phone call Saturday morning with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer regarding a phase-one trade deal, Chinese state media outlet Xinhua reported.

The two sides had constructive discussions about each other’s core concerns and agreed to remain in close contact. The call came at the request of Mnuchin and Lighthizer, according to Xinhua. White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow said on Friday Washington and Beijing were close to a deal.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has called for restraint as unrest in Hong Kong continues. On Monday, Hong Kong police lay siege to a university where hundreds of anti-government protesters were bunkered down with petrol bombs and other homemade weapons, Reuters reported.

In the U.K., political leaders are preparing to pitch their election manifestos to business leaders gathered at the Confederation of British Industry conference in London.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will again pledge to end Brexit uncertainty that has blighted the country’s business environment since the EU referendum in June 2016.

There are no major earnings or data releases Monday.

In terms of individual stocks, Qiagen shares jumped 13.2 percent to lead the Stoxx 600 in early deals, after the company confirmed that it is exploring a sale following indications of interest.

There were no major losers at the start of the session, but Wendel slipped 1.7 percent after Citigroup cut the French investment company’s stock from buy to neutral.

Source: CNBC

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