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Europe: Shares recover after Trump signal on trade war

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[BENGALURU] European shares rose on Friday after US President Donald Trump predicted a swift end to a damaging trade war with China.

The market appeared unfazed by British Prime Minister Theresa May's resignation as Conservative party leader after failing in a final attempt to win parliamentary support for her divorce deal with the European Union.

The pan-European STOXX 600 ended up 0.56 per cent but posted a weekly loss and remained on track for its first monthly decline since a steep sell-off at the end of last year.

Mr Trump said late on Thursday that US complaints against Huawei Technologies could be resolved within the broader trade framework, though no high-level bilateral talks have been scheduled yet.

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Deutsche Bank Research analysts said Mr Trump's comments on Huawei showed the issues were linked "and that he remains amenable to a broad deal".

The STOXX 600 rose on broad-based gains led by the utility sector, gaining 1.3 per cent for its best day in more than two months.

Mining stocks and insurers followed, while China-focused semiconductors stocks pushed the European tech sector 0.36 per cent higher.

Milan's MIB led the way among country indexes with its 1.2 per cent rise, recovering from Thursday's more than 2 per cent slide. Germany's trade-sensitive DAX was up 0.5 per cent.

London's FTSE 100 held gains after Ms May's widely expected announcement.

Ms May said she would resign by June 7 after failing to deliver Brexit, setting up a Conservative party contest that will install a new British prime minister who could pursue a cleaner break with the European Union.

"No surprise with that announcement, the bigger shock would have been if she didn't announce a date," said Atlantic Markets' John Woolfitt.

France's Casino shares topped STOXX 600, up 7.5 per cent after the retailer said its parent company Rallye's filing for protection from creditors had no impact on the execution of its strategy.

Healthcare stocks Novartis and Roche were the biggest gainers. Brokerage Jefferies maintained its positive stance on EU large-cap pharma and named Roche its top pick.