September 19, 2018 / 7:32 AM / in a month

European shares hit two-week high on trade talk hopes; miners, autos up

MILAN, Sept 19 (Reuters) - European shares hit two-week highs on Wednesday, led higher by materials stocks, while disappointing updates from staffing firm Adecco and home improvement retailer Kingfisher weighed.

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.3 percent by 0713 GMT with sentiment supported by hopes that the U.S. and China will return to the negotiating table after the latest tariff round.

“Our base-case scenario sees both parties negotiating a settlement in the next 6–9 months,” Credit Suisse strategists said in their daily note.

Basic materials were the biggest sectoral gainer, up 1.6 percent, after copper prices rose sharply as investors shrugged off the risks of an escalation of the U.S.-China trade row.

Adecco fell 4 percent, after the world’s largest staffing company said it has seen a slowdown in growth so far in the third quarter, while Kingfisher reported a 15 percent fall in half-year profits, sending its shares down 5 percent.

A solid update however lifted German automotive parts maker Schaeffler to the top of the STOXX, up 5.3 percent. The trade-sensitive autos sector was also a strong gainer, up 1 percent.

Danske Bank fell 4.4 percent following the resignation of its CEO and an updated on a money laundering probe that prompted the bank to cut its full-year outlook. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Editing by Helen Reid)

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