Europe closes higher as trade war concerns ease; Italian stocks lower

  • The left-wing Five Star Movement and the right-wing Lega are due to present their deal to the country's president later on Monday.
  • French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned Sunday that Rome needs to respect European spending rules.
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. and China are putting the trade war "on hold" as they try to reach a compromise.

French and U.K. stocks closed higher Monday with investors digesting weekend developments in U.S.-China trade talks.

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FTSE
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DAX
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CAC
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IBEX 35
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The FTSE 100 closed provisionally up by 1 percent and the CAC 40 in Paris was higher by 0.4 percent. The former hit a fresh intraday record high Monday. Meanwhile, the main Italian index fell 1.5 percent on political news. German and other European markets were closed for a public holiday.

Market sentiment was driven by trade news and political events in Italy. Fears over a trade war between the U.S. and China eased after comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that both countries are putting the trade war "on hold" as they tried to reach a compromise. On Wall Street, stocks traded sharply higher amid the alleviation of trade tensions.

Political instability in Italy seems to be coming to an end with a power-sharing agreement between the left-wing Five Star Movement and the right-wing Lega. Both parties are due to present their deal to the country's president later on Monday. However, such a government could raise concerns across the euro zone due to planned higher spending. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire warned Sunday that Rome needs to respect European spending rules, according to the Financial Times.

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In earnings, Ryanair reported a 10 percent increase in full-year profit after tax. The company reiterated Brexit concerns and reported a pessimistic outlook for 2019. The stock traded lower during early deals, but it rose more than 5 percent later in the day.

Altice was among the worst performers, down by more than 7 percent, after the MSCI deleted it from the global standard indexes, effective on May 22, Reuters reported.

There are no major data releases on Monday.