European markets rally ahead of US-China trade talks; Banco BPM shares jump 5% – CNBC

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European markets rally ahead of US-China trade talks; Banco BPM shares jump 5% – CNBC

European stocks rallied on Monday morning, with market participants looking ahead to a fresh round of U.S.-China trade talks this week.

Stoxx 600 was up around 0.9 percent during early morning deals, with all sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

Europe’s banking index was among those to lead the gains, up over 1.3 percent shortly after the opening bell. It comes after some of Italy’s notoriously fragile lenders reported the European Central Bank (ECB) had set new capital requirement limits. Banco BPM, Ubi Banca and Unicredit were all trading more than 2 percent higher.

Looking at individual stocks, Deutsche Post rose toward the top of the European benchmark after a report suggested Germany could grant the postal services firm with a higher-than-anticipated increase in postage for letters from the summer. Shares of Deutsche Post advanced 2.5 percent.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Smith & Nephew slumped to the bottom of the index after the Financial Times reported the London-listed company was in talks to buy NuVasive. Shares of Smith & Nephew fell almost 4 percent.

Trade war

Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, with a delegation of U.S. officials set to travel to China for the next round of negotiations this week.

The latest set of trade talks will take place in Beijing from Monday. It comes after discussions in Washington last week concluded without a deal.

Both sides are trying to secure a comprehensive trade agreement ahead of a March 1 deadline when U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

Escalating tensions between the world’s two largest economies have cost both countries billions of dollars and roiled global financial markets.

In Asia, Chinese shares whipsawed on Monday after they resumed trading following a week-long Lunar New Year holiday. The blue-chip index rose 0.4 percent, though trading volumes were still expected to be light with Japan on a public holiday.

MSCI’s broadest-index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, was around 0.1 percent lower.

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