September 21, 2018 / 7:42 AM / in a month

European stock index scores best winning streak in two decades

LONDON (Reuters) - Easing fears of a trade war further lifted European shares on Friday, with trade-sensitive sectors like miners .SXPP and autos .SXAP leading the advance.

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, September 20, 2018. REUTERS/Staff

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.4 percent, while the Euro STOXX 50 .STOXX50E ended up 0.8 percent. Both have had 10 straight sessions of gains.

The last time the STOXX 600 performed so strongly was in September last year, but for the Euro STOXX 50 it was the longest winning streak since 1997.

Markets shrugged off the escalation of the trade war between the U.S. and China, focusing on the fact that tariffs announced this week were lower than expected and on hopes of a compromise.

Inexpensive valuations also fueled demand for European shares, which have been underperforming their U.S. peers recently on worries the region’s export-oriented economy could be hit harder by a trade war.

Deutsche Bank on Friday confirmed its overweight rating on European value stocks, mentioning among their buy-rated picks financials Allianz (ALVG.DE) and BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), carmaker Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and miner Glencore (GLEN.L).

Data showing euro zone business growth easing again in September - yet another sign that momentum in the currency bloc has passed its peak - had little impact on trading.

Miners rose 1.3 percent, leading sectoral gainers on Friday, after copper rallied as investors calculated that the U.S.-China trade dispute could cause less damage than feared.

Autos rose 1.9 percent at one point before succumbing to some profit-taking to end up 0.3 percent.

Strategists at Kepler upgraded autos to neutral this week, adding to signs that broker sentiment toward the under-owned and underperforming sector was improving.

Elsewhere, Just Eat (JE.L) lost 4.8 percent after a report said Uber was in early talks to buy Deliveroo, potentially giving it a major rival in the food delivery business.

“The combination of two competitors is the last thing Just Eat wants to hear, particularly when it is already trying to play catch-up on the delivery side of its business,” commented Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

Shares in British industrial technology firm Smiths (SMIN.L) fell 4.4 percent after its full-year profit missed analysts’ estimates.

Belgium’s Nyrstar (NYR.BR) tumbled over 30 percent after it issued a profit warning, saying revenues would be hurt by adverse market conditions.

German retailer Metro (B4B.DE) jumped 2.3 percent as Czech investor Daniel Kretinsky is buying more shares in the company, stoking speculation of a full bid.

Reporting by Julien Ponthus; Editing by David Stamp and Andrew Roche

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