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Europe: Stocks hold steady with market bulls keeping 'upper hand'

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European shares held steady after a positive start to the week in Asia, while the banking sector added to Friday's sharp rally ahead of quarterly results from a number of big US lenders.

[STOCKHOLM] European shares held steady after a positive start to the week in Asia, while the banking sector added to Friday's sharp rally ahead of quarterly results from a number of big US lenders.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was little changed in early trade, with the Stoxx bank index up 0.8 per cent. The media sector was also among the strongest, with Publicis Groupe SA up 2 percent after saying it will pay US$4.4 billion in cash to purchase Alliance Data Systems Corp's marketing unit Epsilon.

"The equity market bulls continue to have the upper hand, running victory laps last week supported by positive data from China and better US corporate earnings than expected," said Martin Guri, head of Nordic strategy at Kepler Cheuvreux.

The main talking point among investors is still the progress in trade talks between China and the US, according to Mr Guri. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the US is open to facing "repercussions" if it doesn't live up to its commitments in a potential trade deal with China.

sentifi.com

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