BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - European markets ended mostly higher on Thursday on easing worries about trade after a statement from China's Commerce Ministry said the U.S. and China have agreed to hold new round of talks in early October.
The statement from the Commerce Ministry said the two sides agreed to the new round of talks during a phone call between Chinese Vice Premier and Chief trade negotiator Liu He and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
A spokesperson from the U.S. Trade Representative's office confirmed the phone call and said the two countries agreed to hold meetings 'in the coming weeks.'
Markets were also supported by news that a bill introduced by opposition parties to block British Prime Minister Boris Johnson from taking the U.K. out of the EU without a deal on October 31 was passed in the House of Commons.
Positive news from Italy, where the political turbulence ended after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte named his new cabinet.
The pan European Stoxx 600 ended up 0.72%. France's CAC 40 gained 1.11% and Germany's DAX climbed up 0.85%, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 declined 0.55%. Switzerland's SMI ended stronger by 0.89%.
Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherland, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Sweden ended with sharp to moderate gains.
Poland and Turkey closed modestly higher, while Denmark edged down marginally and Ukraine ended flat.
In the French market, STMicroElectronics spurted more than 6% and Capgemini gained 5.3%. Safran gained 5.1% after the company raised its guidance for 2019 revenue and operational income. Technip, Peugeot, Societe Generale, Renault, ArcelorMittal and Michelin moved up 3 to 4%.
BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, Carrefour, Louis Vuittan and Kering gained 2 to 3%. AXA, Schneider Electric, Atos, Total, Saint Gobain and Hermes International also ended on a firm note.
In Germany, Thyssenkrupp rallied more than 6.5% after the company started a structured bidding process for its elevator unit.
Infineon gained nearly 6%. Deutsche Bank, Continental and Daimler gained 3 to 5%.
HeidelbergCement, Covestro, SAP, BMW, Lufthansa and Deutsche Post also posted strong gains.
In London, NMC Health gained more than 6%, St. James Place moved up 5.1% and ITV advanced 4.1%. Legal & General, RBS Plc, Antofagasta, Persimmon, Aviva, Taylor Wimpey and Next gained 2.5% - 3.6%.
On the other hand, Fresnillo, Hikma Pharma, Diageo, BHP Group, Relx, AstraZeneca, Compass, GlaxoSmithKline, National Grid, Unilever, Vodafone Group and Micro Focus declined sharply.
Shares of Clydesdale Bank plunged more than 21% after the bank made a further provision of 300 - 450 million pounds in legacy costs to settle PPI claims.
Investors shrugged off data from Destatis showing that Germany's factory orders decreased more-than-expected in July on weak demand from abroad.
Factory orders decreased 2.7% over the previous month in July, in contrast to an increase of revised 2.7% seen in June.
Economists had forecast orders to drop 1.4% after June's initially estimated growth of 2.5%.
Germany's construction sector activity fell at the fastest rate in over five years in August, led by civil engineering, as order books continued to fall and expectations deteriorated, survey data from IHS Markit showed.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX