July 4, 2019 / 7:28 AM / 3 months ago

European shares higher on hopes of rate cut, trade optimism

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July 4 (Reuters) - European shares advanced for the sixth straight session on Thursday, as investors took heart from signs that the U.S.-China trade talks are back on track, with expectations of interest rate cuts by central banks lifting the sentiment.

By 0710 GMT, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.1%, while the euro zone’s STOXXE gained 0.2%, a day after both the bourses hit fresh 2019 peaks on hopes that France’s Christine Lagarde will stick to ECB’s dovish policy stance as the bank’s next chief.

Trade-sensitive auto stocks and technology companies sectors led the charge among European sectors on news that top representatives from the United States and China are arranging to resume talks next week.

Also helping the auto stocks were gains in shares of French car parts company Valeo after its executive Marc Vrecko told Reuters it has won 500 million euros ($564 million) worth of orders for its ‘Lidar’ car sensor products.

On top of the STOXX 600 was Finnish engineering group Metso , up more than 6%, after the company said it would merge Outotec with its main Minerals unit to create a larger engineering firm serving the minerals, metals and aggregates industries.

German lighting company Osram rose 4.3%, extending Wednesday’s more than 10% rise after the company confirmed it had received a takeover offer of 3.4 billion euros ($3.84 billion) from Bain and Carlyle.

Italy’s FTMIB hit a fresh two-month peak, while its bank index climbed about 2%, after the European Commission dropped its threat of disciplinary action against the country.

Meanwhile, on the Wall Street, which is closed for Independence Day, the three main indexes clinched fresh record closing highs on Wednesday after a spate of weak economic data firmed bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve would cut interest rates to counter slowing growth. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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