The pan-European Stoxx 600 added just over 0.4% to hit a four-year high as basic resources led the way by gaining 1.4% while travel and leisure stocks slid 0.2% lower.
The US President on Tuesday stated that the United States and China were in the “final throes” of talks as they look to secure a trade deal. However, the U.S. President also expressed his administration’s support for protesters in Hong Kong, a particularly thorny issue for China at the moment.
Stocks stateside closed at record highs after comments from the U.S. President. In Asia, markets climbed on the back of optimism around trade, with the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.2%.
Fresh figures coming out revealed that Chinese industrial profit dropped for a third consecutive month in October.
In Europe, French consumer confidence data exceeded analyst expectations, hitting 106 in November, the highest since June 2017 and up from 104 in October. The pleasant surprise offered a tailwind to cautious European stocks Wednesday morning.
In Europe, market participants kept a close watch on the latest political developments out of the United Kingdom, as the country looks forward to a fresh set of elections on December 12.
In the area of individual stocks, UDG Healthcare rose 6.5% after reporting positive full-year results on Tuesday. SEB added 3.5% after the Swedish bank announced that it had found no evidence of alleged links between the bank and companies that were sanctioned for involvement in Russian tax fraud.
Knorr Bremse stock fell 2.4% after the company reported disappointing results before the bell, while Altice Europe shares shed 2.8%.
Altran shares edged 0.2% higher after activist hedge fund Elliott said Capgemini’s 3.6 billion euro ($3.96 billion) offer for the French engineering group was too low.
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