Equities Indices

European shares edge higher amid cautious trade

European shares are a little higher Monday, amid cautious trade as optimism of a thaw in US-China relations fades. A variety of company updates has helped to support small gains, however, although another concern over Italy’s budget plans are on the up, ahead of the next meeting between European finance ministers.

By 1355 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was 0.13% higher, while the EUROSTOXX 50 had increased 0.23%. Regional bourses were also positive. The German DAX was 0.08% in the green, the French CAC was up 0.17% and the Spanish IBEX rose 0.75%.

Caution returns

Following a bout of optimism that the US and China could find common ground in their trade dispute, comments by White House economic adviser, Larry Kudlow soon disabused investors of that view.

Kudlow suggested that despite President Trump’s positive tweets, there has yet to be much movement from either party from current status quo.

“There's no massive movement to deal with China,” Kudlow told CNBC. “We're doing a normal, routine run-through of things that we've already put together and normal preparation…. We're not on the cusp of a deal.”

Supporting that cautious view is news that Italy’s budget plans are set to prove prominent at the upcoming European finance minister’s meeting in Brussels.

Stock movers

Against that mixed backdrop, company news has proved beneficial across Europe.

Heineken shares are higher as the Dutch brewer has signed a definitive agreement in its deal to buy a 40% stake in China Resources to help grow its sales and distribution across China.

Heineken shares rose 0.23% to €79.58.

SocGen shares are also in the green, following an announcement it has sold its Polish-based Euro Bank to Millennium Bank acp. SocGen shares were up 0.44% at €33.28.

Meanwhile, Novartis shares were also higher, following its R&D pipeline update. The Swiss pharma firm is developing a variety of potentially lucrative drugs.

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