November 22, 2019 / 9:57 AM / 2 months ago

Positive trade cues help European stocks wrap up dour week on an upbeat note

(Reuters) - European shares logged their best day in three weeks on Friday, as upbeat data out of major eurozone economies, as well as positive rhetoric on a U.S.-China trade deal, ended a dour week on a positive note.

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, November12, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

The trade sensitive European miners .SXPP jumped nearly 2%, erasing nearly all losses from earlier this week. All but one of the European sub-sectors ended higher.

U.S. President Donald Trump said a trade deal with China is “potentially very close”. Beijing had said earlier it wanted to work out an initial agreement with Washington, following reports that a truce could be delayed to 2020.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended 0.4% higher but still snapped a six-week winning streak as recent mixed signals on trade clouded the sentiment.

Earlier in the day, separate surveys showed business activity picked up slightly in France this month while German business conditions continued to deteriorate in November, although more slowly than recently.

Reports from both economies, came as a relief to investors even as another survey showed European PMI slipped in November, narrowly missing a contraction.

“Despite a little slippage of the composite index, the Eurozone PMIs add to the growing number of indicators that suggest the downturn in global trade and manufacturing is approaching the bottom,” said Berenberg economist Florian Hense.

“Both domestic and export orders are sending green shoots with the decline in Germany easing and the gains in France picking up.”

However, in Britain, a survey showed business this month suffered its deepest downturn since mid-2016 as the approach of a national election exacerbated uncertainty about Brexit, causing a sharp fall in the pound.

Sterling's losses helped London's exporter-heavy FTSE 100 .FTSE post its best day in nearly four months.

Among stocks, Italian broadcaster Mediaset (MS.MI) rose more than 2% after sources told Reuters that French media group Vivendi (VIV.PA) is prepared to sell part of its stake in the firm at a loss in an attempt to reach a deal to end years of bitter legal disputes.

French pre-paid meal vouchers and card provider Edenred (EDEN.PA) dropped 2.4% after announcing a cyber attack on its information technology system.

Umicore (UMI.BR) slid nearly 4% as Bank of America Merrill downgraded the Belgian materials and technology group to “neutral”

Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr, Shailesh Kuber and Giles Elgood

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