European shares touch new 6-week highs on easing trade worries

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Sept 12 (Reuters) - European shares opened on Thursday at their highest level since July 30 on fresh evidence of easing trade war tensions between the United States and China.

After Beijing decided to exempt some U.S. goods from additional tariffs on Wednesday, Washington reciprocated by announcing a short delay to scheduled tariff hikes on billions worth of Chinese goods.

The pan-European stock index rose 0.2% by 0710 GMT. The index touched a 6-week high on Wednesday on optimism about a de-escalation in the economically damaging Sino-U.S. trade war and expectations of monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank.

The direction of trading through the session will be determined by the extent of the stimulus that the ECB delivers after a policy meeting later on Thursday.

Investors widely expect the central bank to announce an interest rate cut for the first time since 2016 and restart an asset purchase programme. But analysts have warned against setting expectations too high.

Among stocks, Anheuser-Busch InBev was the biggest boost to the STOXX 600 after the company said it would again explore an initial public offering in Hong Kong for its Asia Pacific unit two months after cancelling the planned listing. (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; editing by Arun Koyyur)