World Markets

European Shares Broadly Higher As China Concerns Ebb

( - European shares were mostly higher on Wednesday after Apple Inc reported sharp growth in its services business and said U.S.-China trade tensions are easing.

Traders await the start of U.S.-China trade talks later in the day as well as the outcome of a Federal Reserve meeting for further direction.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was up 0.1 percent at 357.41 in opening deals after rising 0.8 percent in the previous session.

The German DAX was losing 0.3 percent, while France's CAC 40 index was rising half a percent and the U.K.'sFTSE 100 was up over 1 percent.

German industrial conglomerate Siemens fell 1.5 percent after its first-quarter net income dropped to 1.01 billion euros from 2.19 billion euros last year.

French luxury conglomerate LVMH jumped 6.2 percent after it announced record sales and profits for 2018. Gucci owner Kering rallied 3.5 percent.

IT consulting firm Atos soared over 7 percent. The company plans to distribute 23.4 percent of shares in its subsidiary Worldline to shareholders.

Miners were in demand as iron ore and copper prices rose following a mining disaster in Brazil. BHP, Anglo American and Antofagasta all gained over 1 percent.

British American Tobacco jumped over 3 percent to extend gains from the previous session as fears over the menthol cigarette crackdown Stateside receded.

Drug maker Novartis dropped over 1 percent in Switzerland after its core earnings came in below expectations.

In economic releases, an index of Euro zone economic sentiment fell by more than expected to a two-year low at the start of 2019, the European Commission said.

German consumer confidence is set to improve in February, defying expectations for a modest easing, survey data from the GfK showed.

French GDP grew 0.3 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter of 2018, same as in the third quarter, preliminary data revealed. Economists had forecast 0.2 percent expansion.

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