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Europe: Shares climb for fourth day on trade optimism, China data

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European shares rose for the fourth straight session on Wednesday, as investors took heart from further signs of recovery in China and progress towards a possible trade deal between Beijing and Washington.

[LONDON] European shares rose for the fourth straight session on Wednesday, as investors took heart from further signs of recovery in China and progress towards a possible trade deal between Beijing and Washington.

The pan-European index rose 0.7 per cent at 0724 GMT, hitting its highest level since Aug 10.

Frankfurt's trade-sensitive DAX outperformed peers, gaining 1.2 per cent. London's FTSE 100 lagged as a firming pound weighed on multi-national exporters, which make the lion's share of their earnings in foreign currencies.

All sectors except the food and beverage index advanced, with basic and resources and auto stocks leading gains.

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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday he expects the United States and China "to make more headway" as the two sides resume trade talks this week.

Also helping sentiment was reports that British Prime Minister Theresa May might seek another Brexit delay to try to agree an EU divorce deal with the opposition Labour leader.

Strong economic data out of China has also helped sentiment. The latest private business survey on Wednesday showed activity in China's services sector had picked up to a 14-month high in March as demand improved at home and abroad.

Another survey indicated activity in Spain's services sector had jumped to its highest level in more than a year in March.

Leading gains on the pan-region index was Prosiebensat as traders said the German media company may be among the possible candidates for a cross-border deal with Mediaset.

REUTERS