European Shares Rise As US-China Talks End

European stocks were moving higher on Friday, even as two days of U.S.-Chinese trade talks ended with no immediate word of progress and Spain entered a new period of political uncertainty.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has called for a snap general election in April, two days after his minority Socialist government suffered a major defeat in Parliament.

The pan European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.3 percent at 364.71 in opening deals after declining 0.3 percent the previous day.

The German DAX was marginally higher while France’s CAC 40 index was up 0.7 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was up 0.2 percent.

Telecom Italia jumped more than 6 percent after a report from Reuters said the board of Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti approved the purchase of additional shares in the company.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group advanced 1.4 percent as it reported a sharp rise in 2018 profit and announced a special dividend.

Premier Foods slumped 4.5 percent after it issued an update regarding the potential disposal of Ambrosia brand.

Automakers were broadly lower after industry data showed that European car sales fell by 4.6 percent in January from the same month last year.

Internet portal Scout24 soared 12 percent in Frankfurt after Hellman & Friedman and Blackstone made a 5.7 billion euro offer for the online classifieds group.

French media giant Vivendi jumped 7.6 percent after posting strong results for its Universal Music Grouparm.

Utility EDF declined 4.2 percent after issuing a cautious outlook for 2019.

The British pound recovered from its early lows against its major counterparts after data showed U.K. retail sales rebounded strongly in January, after their biggest fall in December in a year-and-a-half.

Sales volumes rose 1.0 percent in the month while on an annual basis, retail sales jumped 4.2 percent to post the biggest annual rise since December 2016.

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