Europe Markets: Europe stocks approach seven-month high on U.S., China optimism

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A sheet of paper with informations concerning a cyber attack (L) and one reading ‘ Hydro is under a cyber attack, don’ t plug your computer on the network unless we say so’ are pictured on a window of the headquarters of the Norwegian aluminium group ‘Norsk Hydro’ in Oslo, Norway on March 19, 2019. The attack weighed on the company’s second-quarter results, Norsk Hydro said Wednesday.

European stocks on Wednesday rose to nearly a seven-month high, helped by optimism over U.S.-China trade talks and an agreement for increased spending in the world’s largest economy.

Up about 16% for the year, the Stoxx 600 SXXP, +0.61%  rose 0.6% to 390.10.

The FTSE 100 UKX, +0.60%  advanced 0.7% to 7,565.18.

The German DAX DAX, +1.17%  rose 1.2% to 12,435.58, France’s CAC 40 PX1, +0.46%  gained 0.4% to 5,590.24, and Italy’s FTSE MIB I945, +0.64% rose 0.7% to 21,896.62. 

What’s moving markets

Europe stocks got a bid from the successful resolution of the looming debt ceiling issue in the U.S. The deal reached by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will lift federal spending for the next two years, and push back the debt ceiling issue until 2021. The deal still needs to be approved by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Donald Trump to go into effect.

Also helping was a report in The South China Morning Post that a U.S. delegation led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is likely to visit Beijing next week, for the first face-to-face meetings since the G20. An in-person meeting between Lighthizer, Mnuchin and Vice-Premier Liu He, who leads China’s negotiation team, would be seen as a positive step towards reducing trade tensions, the report said.

Due later will be the International Monetary Fund’s world economic outlook and U.S. existing home sales.

Active stocks

Daimler shares DAI, +3.68%   rallied nearly 4% in Frankfurt as the Mercedes maker said Beijing Automotive Group Co. has taken a 5% equity interest. The two companies already are partners in China.

Computer peripheral maker Logitech LOGN, +7.21% LOGI, +2.05%   jumped 6% in Swiss trade after confirming 2020 targets for sales growth and operating income.

Norsk Hydro NHY, +5.64%  climbed nearly 6% in Oslo as the aluminum giant said its underlying earnings before interest and tax slumped 68% to 875 million Norwegian kronor in the second quarter. A previously disclosed cyber attack will cost the company between 250 millio nand 300 million kronor. The stock is still down 17% for the year.

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