August 24, 2018 / 9:28 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 2-European shares steady as trade talks prompt caution

* STOXX up 0.1 pct at close

* Miners, banks, autos lead gainers

* Fed chair Powell says more rate hikes likely if economy stays strong (Adds detail and updates prices at close)

By Julien Ponthus and Helen Reid

LONDON, Aug 24 (Reuters) - European shares were steady on Friday as investors were cautious after the latest round of U.S.-China trade talks yielded no breakthrough.

The pan-European STOXX 600 ended the session up 0.1 percent, in a thinner-than-usual market in terms of volume.

“Markets are not very directional today,” wrote ActivTrades analyst Pierre Veyret, noting that “the U.S. and China have disappointed investors”.

U.S. and Chinese officials ended two days of talks on Thursday with no major breakthrough, following the implementation of a fresh round of tariffs.

The STOXX 600 also gave up some gains immediately after the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that more rate hikes were likely if the U.S. economy stayed strong.

Miners, banks and cars led gainers.

Autos rose 0.6 percent, after being among the worst-performing sector earlier in the week since a surprise profit warning from tyre maker Continental, which added to ongoing concerns around tariffs.

Basic materials rose 1.5 percent as London copper prices jumped. Antofagasta was a top gainer, rising 3.6 percent.

Irish construction company Kingspan was among the top performers, with its shares jumping 9.3 percent in what was its best day in a year after first half results.

Shares in Danish medical equipment maker recovered from a 12 percent fall on Thursday following a disappointing trading update and were up 9.5 percent.

Britain’s Shire added more than 2 percent after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a drug to treat patients suffering from hereditary angioedema, a hereditary disease that causes swelling in different parts of the body.

Among smaller companies, Swiss semiconductor maker U-Blox sank nearly 18 percent after it cut its guidance for the year, with traders flagging its China business as particularly disappointing. (Reporting by Julien Ponthus, Helen Reid and Kit Rees Editing by Susan Fenton)

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