European Shares Inch Higher In Cautious Trade

European stocks were broadly higher on Wednesday despite concerns about escalating conflict between China and the United States over U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

Investors shrugged off the latest survey results suggesting that Eurozone business activity contracted in July amid a downturn in the manufacturing sector and slowing in the service economy.

Germany’s exports growth accelerated more than expected in June, while imports increased at a weaker pace, separate data revealed.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.1 percent to 436.60 after declining 0.3 percent on Tuesday.

The German DAX gained 0.3 percent and France’s CAC 40 index added 0.2 percent while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was little changed with a positive bias.

Just Eat gained 4 percent. The food delivery service confirmed its FY outlook despite posting a wider first-half net loss.

Hill & Smith Holdings lost 2 percent. The British supplier of infrastructure products kept full-year expectations unchanged after reporting higher revenue and pretax profit for the first half.

Rolls Royce rallied 3 percent. The industrial technology company announced that the Spanish government has approved the sale of ITP Aero to a consortium of investors led by Bain Capital Private Equity.

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey jumped 4 percent after raising its profit guidance to the top end of expectations.

Avast shares surged 43 percent as the competition regulator provisionally cleared the anticipated acquisition of the company by NortonLifeLock following an in-depth merger investigation.

French insurer Axa surged 4.6 percent after it posted higher first-half profit and announced a share buyback program.

Societe Generale jumped 3.5 percent. The lender reported better-than-expected earnings in the second quarter despite taking a 3.3 billion euro ($3.36 billion) hit from exiting its Russian operations.

Veolia fell 2.2 percent after it has signed a merger agreement concerning the merger of Vigie SA (formerly known as Suez SA) into Veolia.

German luxury carmaker BMW slumped 5 percent after it warned of a highly volatile second half.

Semiconductor firm Infineon Technologies rallied 2.4 percent after raising its guidance for the fiscal year.

Lender Commerzbank climbed 3 percent after posting better-than-expected profit in the second quarter.

Luxury fashion house Hugo Boss advanced 2.2 percent after raising its FY22 forecast.

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