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LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) - European shares surged on Tuesday after incipient signs of a detente in trade rhetoric between Washington and Beijing, while French supermarket Casino stole the limelight after sealing a partnership with Amazon.
Casino jumped 7.8 percent to lead Europe’s STOXX 600 after its grocery chain Monoprix said it would start selling its products to Parisian customers through Amazon’s Prime Now service this year.
Despite Casino’s share price gains, the retail index underperformed the wider market. Amazon’s expansion into the European grocery industry has struck fear into investors in some supermarket stocks seen as less adapted to a new retail environment.
A 4.8 percent fall in H&M shares also dragged retail stocks down. The Swedish fashion firm flagged further markdowns in the second quarter, reporting profits for Q1 fell roughly as expected.
The STOXX 600 index gained 1.4 percent, on track for its best day in seven weeks, while Germany’s DAX led the pack with a 1.8 percent rise.
European markets took their cue from a robust rebound on Wall Street and Asian stocks after reports the U.S. and China were negotiating to avert a trade war which had sent stocks spiraling over the past weeks.
Shares in spreadbetting firms suffered losses at the open after European markets regulator ESMA moved to restrict contract-for-difference and binary options trading “to protect retail investors”.
They recovered swiftly, however. IG Group was last trading down 0.5 percent, CMC Markets up 0.6 percent and Plus500 up 3.2 percent. (Reporting by Helen Reid, Editing by Kit Rees)