January 29, 2019 / 8:53 AM / in 4 months

European shares hold gains ahead of events blizzard

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares closed higher ahead of a blizzard of political, economic and corporate events, with a Brexit vote and Apple results on Tuesday and a Federal Reserve decision and Sino-U.S. trade talks on Wednesday.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended the day up 0.8 percent, while London’s FTSE 100 rallied by more than 1.3 percent ahead of the vote in Parliament on Brexit.

Gains were spread among most sectors and bourses but investors shunned stocks or indexes exposed to U.S.-China trade, such as Frankfurt’s DAX, which limited its gains to 0.1 percent or automotives, which fell 0.5 percent.

News that the United States leveled criminal charges against China’s Huawei before the new round of talks between Washington and Beijing added to the subdued mood.

Trading was limited with FTSE 100 turnover at 88 percent of the average 90 day daily volume, STOXX 600 at 85 percent and DAX at 77 percent.

The mood was however better in Europe than on Wall Street where indexes were slightly in the red.

Stéphane Barbier de la Serre, a strategist at Makor Capital Markets, said European markets had catching up to do and that Wednesday’s U.S. monetary meeting was making investors there more cautious.

“Let’s wait for the Fed”, summed up their thinking, he said.

The European technology sector, down 0.5 percent, was also among the few losers with SAP, Europe’s most valuable technology company, down 2.7 percent after its results.

Technology stocks in the U.S. were also retreating with Apple set to report after market close and Amazon.com, Facebook and Microsoft, all scheduled to report later this week.

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

Among individual moves, Germany’s Sartorius jumped 18.2 percent after its results.

Royal Mail hit an all-time lows after failing to deliver its full-year results.

Shares in Scor sank 11.4 percent. The French reinsurer is suing rival Covea and its chief executive for breach of trust after Covea announced it had abandoned plans for a friendly takeover of Scor.

Reporting by Josephine Mason, Julien Ponthus and Marc Jones, editing by Danilo Masoni/Angus MacSwan/Alexander Smith

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