Europe Markets

European markets close higher amid trade optimism

Key Points
  • Trade negotiators from Washington and Beijing held another phone call Tuesday morning, China's Ministry of Commerce says.
  • Just Eat urges shareholders to reject a $6.3 billion takeover offer from Prosus, saying Takeover's separate proposal is a better fit for the firm.

European markets closed higher on Tuesday as investor sentiment toward the Sino-U.S. trade conflict remained optimistic.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.2% higher at the closing bell, with construction and material stocks leading gains on a 1% rise while travel and leisure stocks shed 2%.

Trade negotiators from Washington and Beijing held another phone call Tuesday morning, where the two sides discussed "resolving core issues," according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce. The call was between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the ministry said in a statement.

Stocks on Wall Street were slightly higher on Tuesday, as investors weighed the positive signs around trade against negative economic news. Data published Tuesday revealed that U.S. consumer confidence fell for a fourth consecutive month in November.

Back in Europe, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party saw its lead over the opposition Labour Party narrow to 7 points in the last week, according to an opinion poll by ICM for Reuters. The country is heading for a general election that's due to take place on December 12.

Sterling had slid 0.4% against the dollar by the end of the European trading session, trading at around $1.2845 as the bell rang.

In corporate news, U.K. food delivery firm Just Eat urged its shareholders to reject a $6.3 billion takeover offer from Prosus, saying a separate proposal from Takeaway.com was a better fit for the firm. Takeaway shares traded 0.5% lower while Just Eat hovered just below the flatline.

In terms of individual stocks, Vifor Pharma shares added 7% after reporting positive data for a new drug study.

Compass Group saw its stock fall 7.5% after reporting full-year results in which it warned on performance in Europe.