Markets

European stocks close higher on renewed trade optimism; Ryanair up 8% after results

Key Points
  • U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Sunday  that licenses would be granted "very shortly" for American firms to sell to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.
  • Back in Europe, October manufacturing data out of Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the euro zone as a whole is due for publication Monday morning.
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European markets open higher after earnings reports and US jobs data

European stocks traded higher Monday as renewed optimism over U.S.-China trade talks looked set to reignite a risk-on approach from investors.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.97% higher, with trade-sensitive Autos jumping 2.8% on average and the Basic Resources basket up more than 3%. 

Hopes for progress in ongoing trade talks between the world's two largest economies were boosted Sunday when U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that licenses would be granted "very shortly" for American firms to sell to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

Huawei was among a list of Chinese firms blacklisted by the Commerce Department over alleged national security threats. Ross also offered more detail on a prospective partial deal expected to be signed by President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Ross also told Bloomberg TV on Sunday that Washington may not need to impose its planned 5-15% tariffs on European and Asian cars following positive discussions, which sent the automotive sector surging on Monday.

Shares in Asia Pacific advanced on Monday afternoon in response to the news, led by Hong Kong's Hang Seng index which climbed 1.28%.

Back in Europe, October manufacturing data out of Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the euro zone as a whole is due for publication Monday morning.

Earnings in focus

Earnings continue to serve as the focal point for individual stock performance. Ryanair on Monday reported post-tax profits of 1.15 billion euros ($1.3 billion) for the six months from April to September, slightly better than expected. It also narrowed its full-year profit forecast from 750-950 million euros to 800-900 million euros. Ryanair shares were up 8.3% during afternoon trade.

Siemens Healthineers stock climbed 9.2% to hit an all-time high after the German medical technology group reported strong fourth-quarter earnings.

At the other end of the European blue-chip index, GVC Holdings slumped over 11% as shares in British gambling companies were hit by calls from a cross-party coalition of lawmakers to tighten rules on online casinos.