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Europe: Shares steady ahead of US-China trade talks


[LONDON] European shares steadied in early trading on Tuesday as caution settled in before trade talks between the United States and China later in the week, though a weaker dollar boosted shares in international earners and commodities sectors.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was flat in percentage terms by 0723 GMT. Germany's DAX rose 0.2 per cent and Britain's FTSE 100 was also steady.

Worries over a trade dispute between the US and China have been a drag on markets, accompanied by escalating rounds of tit-for-tat tariffs.

Investors hope the trade talks on Wednesday will ease some of the tensions. But US President Donald Trump said in an interview that he does not expected much progress.

European stocks have dipped into negative territory for the year, down 1.6 per cent, amid worries over trade and a currency crisis in Turkey.

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On Tuesday, a weaker dollar supported shares in companies that get much their revenue overseas. Consumer staples provided the biggest boost to the STOXX, while a stronger oil price supported energy stocks.

Though the earnings season is largely over in Europe, shares in oilfield services company Wood Plc were among the top STOXX gainers, up more than 4 per cent, after reporting a first-half profit towards the higher end of its forecast.

Russian mining company Polymetal also rose 2.1 per cent after giving a half-year update. Denmark's Jyske Bank led banking stocks higher after its second-quarter earnings release.

However, shares in BHP Billiton were down around 2 per cent after its underlying profit came in below forecasts.


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