July 9, 2018 / 7:55 AM / a year ago

European shares open higher, optimism spreads over global markets

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LONDON, July 9 (Reuters) - European shares opened higher on Monday as a wave of optimism about the resilience of the global economy continued to spread across markets despite the escalation of the U.S.-China trade dispute and a new Brexit crisis within the British government.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.5 percent by 0724 GMT while the British blue chip index FTSE 100 gained 0.4 percent.

Positive job data in the United States on Friday reassured investors who have yet to witness an actual slowdown due to the implementation of higher trade barriers.

“The actual trade tariffs are nothing new, the market has been aware of them for over a month, and for now conditions are still supportive for financial growth, allowing markets to move higher”, argued London Capital Group’s research team.

“Sentiment could remain resilient until we see solid evidence of these trade tensions feed through to softer economic data, particularly in China”, they added.

Data published on Monday also showed that “German exports rebounded in May, providing more evidence of a strengthening of the economy in the second quarter”, ING wrote.

In Britain, some investors took the view that the resignation of Brexit minister David Davis could actually help deliver a softer way out of the European Union.

“It’s unwelcome timing for the PM ahead of the UK’s white paper (policy proposal) on Brexit, and before crucial talks with Brussels, but markets welcome the removal of a major impediment to a pro-business ‘soft-Brexit’,” said Mike van Dulken and Artjom Hatsaturjants at Accendo Markets.

Global miner BHP Billiton was a major mover on the British stock market, rising 2.2 percent on speculation of BP , down 0.5 percent, could buy its U.S. shale assets.

Across Europe, Air France KLM was one of the best performers, rising 6.9 percent after reporting higher passenger traffic for June while a leading French transport executive was touted as its possible new chief executive. (Reporting by Julien Ponthus; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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