(Reuters) – European shares edged higher in quiet trading on Monday, with bank stocks leading the gains, as Sino-U.S. trade optimism and strong Chinese economic data eased some worries over the global economy.
By 0932 GMT, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1 percent, hovering near eight-month highs. The banks-heavy Italian and Spanish indices led the gains.
Mark - Taylor - Sales - Trader - Mirabaud
Mark Taylor, sales trader at Mirabaud Global Thematic Group in London, said banking stocks could be rising due to “U.S. and German yield curves starting to move off their lows”.
JPMorgan handily beating quarterly profit estimates on Friday and kickstarting the U.S. corporate earnings season on a strong note could be another factor helping banks, Taylor said.
Monday - Apart - Earnings - Catalysts - Week
“It’s very quiet Monday. Apart from a few earnings catalysts through the week, it looks like people are just largely sitting on the sidelines,” he said.
Asian shares began the week with a positive tone after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday he hoped that the United States and China were close to the final round of negotiations.
Relief - Reuters - US - Negotiators - Demands
Adding to trade relief, Reuters reported that U.S. negotiators had tempered demands that China curb industrial subsidies as a condition for a deal after strong resistance from Beijing.
Compass Group was among the biggest weights on London’s blue-chip index after Barclays downgraded shares of the world’s largest caterer to “equal-weight”.
Euro - Zone - Chips - Index - Finland
Dragging down the euro zone blue chips index was pressured by Finland’s Nokia, down about 3 percent, after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to “sell”.
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