November 26, 2019 / 8:28 AM / 10 days ago

Positive trade sentiment nudges European stocks higher

(Reuters) - European stocks rose for the third straight session on Tuesday, lifted by hopes that the ongoing negotiations between United States and China would yield a trade truce.

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

Swiss drugmaker Vifor Pharma (VIFN.S) was the top performer on the pan-European STOXX 600 after the company announced the success of avacopan as a treatment for a autoimmune disease in a trial.

Irish shares of CRH (CRH.I) (CRH.L) rose nearly 3% after the building materials supplier posted a rise in quarterly profit on a like-for-like basis helped by strong demand and pricing which it expects to continue in 2020.

Its shares helped the construction & materials subsector .SXOP gain nearly 1%.

After a sluggish start, the STOXX 600 index gradually crept up 0.1% as major U.S. stock indexes .SPX .IXIC .DJI notched record highs.

Trade negotiators from China and the United States discussed issues related to phase one of a trade agreement on Tuesday and agreed to maintain communication on remaining issues, China’s Commerce Ministry said.

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said both countries are close to agreement on the initial deal but three big sticking points remain.

“U.S.-China relations continue to drive markets,” said Joshua Mahony, Senior Market Analyst at IG. “A call between the U.S. and China provided a renewed focus on getting that first stage deal across the line.”

Hopes that the world’s top two economies would hammer out a deal to end their trade war, along with a better-than-feared third-quarter earnings, has helped the benchmark STOXX 600 rise about 3% so far in November, its third straight monthly climb.

Among major country indexes, Italy .FTMIB was leading gains with its 0.4% rise while those in Britain .FTSE and Spain .IBEX posted modest gains.

UK's midcaps index .FTMC outperformed with its 0.8% jump, boosted by a surge in shares of Pets at Home Group Plc (PETSP.L) after the company forecast full-year underlying pretax profit toward the top end of current market view.

Shares of French car parts maker Faurecia (EPED.PA) rose 2% as it said it was targeting record sales, profits and cash generation in 2022, partly helped by a boost from its acquisition of Japanese company Clarion.

Among decliners, Compass Group (CPG.L) tumbled more than 7% as the world’s biggest catering firm warned that hundreds of jobs could be in jeopardy as a part of a program to stem costs, as the weakening economic outlook in Europe dented its volumes and margins.

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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