U.S. Markets

Miners drive gains in Europe as sterling falls

(Reuters) - European shares rose on Friday, with London listed mining stocks driving gains due to a weaker pound, while hopes of a quick resolution to the U.S.-China trade war offset worries about slowing economic growth.

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

The FTSE 100 .FTSE, packed with companies whose revenues tend to rise when Britain's pound falls, jumped 0.8% to a near two-month high, after the currency took a hit from the Bank of England's first clear signal it was eyeing an interest rate cut.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX rose 0.3% with the basic resources sector .SXPP gaining 1.6%, the most among the major European sub-sectors. It is still on course for a small fall this week that would be its first since mid-August.

Shares of Norwegian aluminum company Norsk Hydro NHY.OL gained 1.4% after a Brazilian court lifted its final production embargo on the company's key plant.

News overnight, ranging from a profit warning from chipmaker Micron, to reports of fresh scrutiny of U.S. suppliers to Huawei and the release of a whistleblower report on President Donald Trump had weighed on sentiment in Asia and Wall Street.

“Unlike the Asian indices, which continued their rough week, Europe woke up with a spring in its step,” Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell said.

The top percentage gainer on the STOXX 600 was asset manager Ashmore Group ASHM.L which gained 2.5% after Morgan Stanley upgraded its stock to "overweight".

However, shares of semiconductor companies Infineon IFXGn.DE, AMS AMS.S and ASM International ASMI.AS came under pressure after Micron forecast first-quarter profit below Wall Street targets.

The United States and China are prepping for another round of high-level trade talks scheduled for Oct. 10 and 11 in Washington, aimed at resolving their near 15-month long trade dispute.

“The prospect of talks may be good for optimism in various markets, but we remain skeptical that these talks will yield substantial results,” Rabobank analysts wrote in a client note.

Multiple profit warnings from European companies this week have fueled fears of recession and any gains have tended to come in sectors commonly perceived as defensives - healthcare .SXDP, real-estate .SX86P and utilities .SX6P.

Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Patrick Graham