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European stocks traded higher Monday, as investors digested the latest news surrounding trade discussions between the U.S. and China.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally closed 0.23 percent higher with almost every sector in positive territory. Basic resources were the top performers, with the sector sensitive to news on global trade developments. According to three CNBC sources Monday, China and the U.S. are approaching the finish line on trade negotiations that could end later this month.
In terms of stocks, Daily Mail and General Trust shares rose more than 4.4 percent. This followed news that the company is to return £896 million ($1.19 billion) to shareholders.
Rightmove jumped to the top of the benchmark in trade, up by more than 5 percent. The property website operator moved higher after J.P. Morgan said the firm seems resilient for now despite posting its slowest growth in nine years, last Friday, Reuters reported.
The British multinational Rotork fell more than 3 percent, after the firm presented its 2018 full-year results, with sales falling below expectations.
Nordea Bank was also down by about 3 percent on reports that a Finnish TV program will air a show reporting allegations of money laundering through the bank, Reuters reported, adding that the bank declined to comment.
With less than a month to go until the U.K. is expected to leave the European Union, all eyes are on whether a departure – with or without a deal – will materialize by the March 29 deadline.
In the latest surrounding the topic, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has reportedly told colleagues in his cabinet that a delay to June was "very likely," according to Ireland's Sunday Independent who cited an unnamed minister.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Theresa May announced a £1.6 billion fund to boost less well-off towns in the U.K. after Brexit.
In the U.S., stocks initially rose as trade talks between China and the U.S. neared the finish line, increasing expectations that a deal between the two countries could be completed soon.