November 19, 2018 / 8:40 AM / 22 days ago

Miners drive European stocks up on trade war hopes, Renault falls

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LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - European shares started the week on the front foot, against spreadbetters' early expectations for a fall, as signs of an easing in U.S.-China trade war tensions boosted mining and technology stocks.

Miners drove the lion's share of gains in Europe, with the basic resources sector up 1.2 percent and construction & materials up 1 percent.

London copper edged up after U.S. President Donald Trump said he may not impose more tariffs on Chinese goods, but gains were capped amid tensions between the two major economies at a regional AEPC summit.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.6 percent by 0830 GMT, after three straight down days, with miners and healthcare stocks the top gainers while the tech sector also benefited from trade war easing.

With the earnings season petering out, management issues, broker notes and M&A were the main drivers of the market.

Novo Nordisk shares climbed 4.6 percent, among top STOXX gainers, after JP Morgan upgraded the pharmaceuticals company to "overweight".

Renault shares fell 3.9 percent, the biggest STOXX 600 fallers, as Japan's Asahi newspaper reported Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn is to be arrested for alleged financial trading violations.

Telecom Italia shares climbed 2.9 percent after Italy's biggest telecoms company appointed Luigi Gubitosi as its new CEO.

Salvatore Ferragamo shares fell 3.7 percent, bottom of Italy's FTSE MIB index, after Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts cut the luxury stock to "underperform" after a four-day luxury goods field trip to China.

Swatch shares also lost 2.7 percent after BAML slashed its price target on the stock by 27 percent, saying watch retailers they met confirmed a significant slowdown in recent months.

Chipmaker stocks AMS, STMicro and Siltronic , which are highly sensitive to trade war news, were among top gainers, up 2.9 to 4.7 percent.

The gains were helping the sector claw back some of the ground lost last week after a series of profit warnings ahead of the crucial holiday season. (Reporting by Helen Reid; editing by Josephine Mason)

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