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LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Fresh from touching their highest level
in four months on Friday, European stocks rose further in early deals
on Monday as investors bet more progress would be made in U.S.-China
trade talks continuing in Washington this week.
Financials were the biggest boost to the STOXX 600 as optimism
over a potential trade war resolution took hold.
The bank index led the way with a 0.7 percent gain, having
risen sharply on Friday after European Central Bank board member
Benoit Coeure said a new round of cheap multi-year loans to banks was possible.
The STOXX 600 edged up 0.1 percent, steadying at its highest
level since Oct 10 as company results on the whole also looked good.
French car parts maker Faurecia climbed 1.9 percent after
saying it hoped to outperform the market this year and reported margin
expansion, though it warned of negative auto production growth in
UK-listed consumer goods firm Reckitt Benckiser gained 2.7
percent after reporting higher-than-expected Q4 sales growth, helped
by improvements in both its health and home and hygiene businesses.
Wire Card shares jumped 7.8 percent to top the STOXX 600 after
German market regulator BaFin banned the establishment or increase of
short positions in the stock.
Chipmaker AMS rose 4.6 percent after an article
by Barron's saying the company is trying to diversify away from the
slowing iPhone segment into other consumer areas and industrial
In other negative moves, Casino shares fell 3.8 percent, the
worst-performing in Europe, after Deutsche Bank cut its rating to
"hold" from "buy".
(Reporting by Helen Reid, Editing by Danilo Masoni)
((mailto:Helen.Reid@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 0402;))