Markets

European stocks close higher on US-China deal; UK stocks rally on election result

Key Points
  • China and the U.S. have reached an agreement on text of a phase one trade deal and will now move toward signing a deal as quickly as possible, Chinese officials said Friday.
  • U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party has won a commanding majority in the country's general election.

European stocks closed higher Friday after news that the U.S. and China have reached a phase one trade deal, while the U.K.'s ruling Conservative Party won a commanding majority in the general election.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 traded around 1.1% higher by the close of trade, with travel and leisure stocks soaring 3.7% to lead gains as all sectors and major bourses traded in positive territory. Retail stocks added 2.9% while both banks and basic resources each gained just shy of 1%.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party has won a commanding majority in the country's general election, granting Johnson the power to drive through his Brexit deal and take the U.K. out of the EU before the January 31 deadline. The result is the party's biggest election win since 1987.

China and the U.S. have reached an agreement on text of a phase one trade deal and will now move toward signing a deal as quickly as possible, Chinese officials said Friday. European equities had experienced a late bounce during Thursday's session after the president tweeted that a deal was close.

In the U.S., Stocks seesawed as traders evaluated the deal.

Asian stocks jumped on the U.S.-China trade news, led by a 2.57% leap for Hong Kong's Hang Seng index while Japan's Nikkei 225 added 2.55% and mainland Chinese shares all posted strong gains.

Sterling was up 1.3% against the dollar to trade at around $1.3333 on Friday morning as markets reacted positively to the prospect of greater certainty around Brexit.

Stocks on the move

German takeout company Delivery Hero soared more than 22% after announcing a $4 billion deal to buy South Korea's Woowa.

However, it was the only non-U.K. based stock among the top 50 best performers in the Stoxx 600, as British domestic stocks went through the roof following the election result. Virgin Money U.K. jumped more than 18% as a slew of British companies enjoyed double-digit share price gains. Banks RBS, Lloyds and Barclays led the European banking sector rally.