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Market Reports
 Wednesday 20 February 2019 12.30

European stocks edge higher

On Wednesday European stocks were slightly higher Wednesday morning, amid rising hopes the world's two largest economies could soon secure a trade deal to end a protracted dispute.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up around 0.1 percent during mid-morning deals, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

Europe's autos stocks with their heavy exposure to China led the gains, up more than 1 percent. It comes at a time when market participants are monitoring the latest round of trade talks between Washington and Beijing.  Officials from the U.S. and China launched a new round of negotiations on Tuesday, with a follow-up session of higher-level talks expected later in the week.

Last week, President Donald Trump suggested he might extend the March 1 deadline for a deal, which would stop an immediate increase in tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent.

Britain's Sainsbury tumbled to the bottom of the index. It comes after the U.K.'s competition regulator said on Wednesday that the supermarket's planned $9.5 billion takeover of Walmart-owned Asda should either be blocked or would require the sale of a significant number of stores. Shares of Sainsbury tumbled more than 15 percent on the news.

Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May visits Brussels, Belgium to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The meeting comes as May continues with her bid to renegotiate her Brexit deal with the bloc, with less than 38 days to go before the country leaves the European Union.

Shares were mostly higher in Asia after a modestly high finish on Wall Street that extended the market’s gains into a fourth week.  The Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3% despite news that Japan’s exports sank 8.4% in January from a year earlier, far more than forecast.

 This article was compiled by BOV Asset Management Limited, a member of the BOV Group. BOV Asset Management, TG Complex, Suite 2, Level 3, Brewery Str., Mriehel BKR 3000. Email: infoassetmanagement@bov.com Internet address: www.bovassetmanagement.com. BOV Asset Management is licensed by the MFSA.

 

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