Europe Markets

European stocks close higher amid US-China trade hopes

Key Points
  • U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien on Saturday said a so-called "phase one" deal with China could still be reached by the end of the year.
  • Britain's two main political parties have both launched their manifestos in separate bids to win over the public ahead of a crucial Dec. 12 election.
  • France's LVMH has reached a deal to buy U.S. luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. for $16.2 billion.

European markets traded higher on Monday afternoon, with investors hopeful of progress in the U.S.-China trade dispute.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 provisionally climbed 1.05%, with travel and leisure stocks adding 1.96% to lead gains as all sectors and major bourses traded in positive territory.

The FTSE 100 in London moved higher by 0.96%.

U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien on Saturday said a so-called "phase one" deal with China could still be reached by the end of the year. However, he also emphasized that Washington would not turn a blind eye to the Hong Kong protests.

The embattled city saw the opposition pro-democracy movement make significant gains in local elections this weekend, with Hong Kong's democrats securing a symbolic majority as residents turned out in record numbers to vote.

Stocks on Wall Street also traded higher on Monday as investor sentiment around the trade war remained optimistic.

Back in Europe, Britain's two main political parties have now both launched their manifestos in separate bids to win over the public ahead of a crucial Dec. 12 election.

The opposition Labour party kicked things off last Thursday with a manifesto promising a windfall tax on oil companies and renationalization of some industries, while the Conservatives launched their own plan for the U.K. that would see 50,000 additional nurses in the National Health Service by the end of Parliament.

In corporate news, France's LVMH confirmed that it has reached a deal to buy U.S. luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. for $16.2 billion. LVMH shares rose by 12% while Tiffany's German-listed shares jumped sharply.

The Ifo business climate index on Monday showed that German business sentiment improved in November, coming in at 95.0 compared to an upwardly revised 94.7 in October. Companies' appraisal of the current situation edged up from 97.8 in October to 97.9.

The Munich-based Ifo Institute is expecting 0.2% GDP (gross domestic product) growth for Europe's largest economy in the fourth quarter, but said companies still find their current order backlog "very disappointing," and are planning further production cutbacks.

In terms of individual stock moves, Siemens Gamesa shares gained 9% after it awarded a two-year global turbine cable supply contract to Nexans.

Italy's Prysmian added 4.6% after its Western Link project was taken over by the client, according to Reuters, while German giant Thyssenkrupp slid 5% after Exane BNP Paribas analysts downgraded the company's stock to "neutral" from "outperform" and cut its price target.