LONDON, March 15 — European shares rose today breaching a five-month high hit a day earlier as investors cheered positive signals over US-China trade talks and after UK lawmakers voted to delay a potentially chaotic exit from the European Union.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.1 per cent at 0826 GMT (4.26pm Malaysian time), piercing the Oct 5 high set yesterday and on track for its biggest weekly gain in a month.
All the major bourses were in positive territory, although London’s FTSE 100 outperformed the pack, lifted by its heavyweight oil and mining stocks on higher metals and crude prices. Trade-sensitive DAX was up 0.1 per cent.
The mood was also boosted by growing expectations that Britain will not leave the European Union without a deal on March 29 following yesterday night’s parliamentary vote.
Technology stocks were the biggest gainers, up 0.6 per cent, after better-than-expected results from US chipmaker Broadcom overnight and boosted by hopes that Washington and Beijing will resolve their trade spat that has rattled financial markets.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He spoke by telephone with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, with the two sides making further substantive progress on trade talks, Xinhua news agency said today.
The prospect of the trade talks taking longer than expected tempered some of the gains, and there was still no clarity on how close the two economic powers are on reaching an agreement.
Among individual moves, shares were driven by legal dramas.
UBS was down 1.3 per cent after Switzerland’s top bank said it is bulking up its litigation provisions to deal with a French court slapped it with a hefty penalty last month.
Swedbank dropped 1.9 per cent as the Danske Bank money laundering scandal deepens.
A Swedish TV programme reported that an internal report by Swedbank dated last September showed transactions totalling more than $10 billion between “suspicious” customers in Swedbank and Danske Bank had been done between 2007-2015 in the Baltics.
Wirecard sank almost 7 per cent after Citi downgraded the German card payments company. The shares have plunged almost 40 per cent since January. — Reuters
Source: The Malay Mail Online