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Europe: Shares in tentative New Year's Eve rise after bruising 2018
[LONDON] European shares were slightly higher in early deals on Monday as soothing comments from Washington and Beijing about trade frictions between the world's top two economies provided some salve for investors after a bruising year in equity markets.
The STOXX 600 was up 0.3 per cent by 0833 GMT, continuing to claw back from multi-year losses hit on Thursday.
France's CAC 40 was up 0.6 per cent, Spain's IBEX was up 0.5 per cent while Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.2 per cent. Volumes were thin with German and Milan bourses shut and London and Euronext closing early ahead of the New Year's Eve celebrations.
Market mood brightened slightly after US President Donald Trump said he held a "very good call" with China's President Xi Jinping on Saturday to discuss trade and claimed "big progress" was being made.
Chinese state media were more reserved, saying Xi hoped the negotiating teams could meet each other half way and reach an agreement that was mutually beneficial.
Still, investors were heading into the year-end licking their wounds after a torrid year amid lingering worries about slowing global economic growth amid the prolonged trade spat and expectations of more US interest rate hikes.
The pan European STOXX 600 was on track for its worst year in a decade, while euro-zone stocks were set for worst performance since 2011.
The mining and resources sector was the biggest gainer in early deals on Monday, up 0.9 per cent, buoyed by stronger copper prices even as most industrial metals headed for losses in 2018.