(RTTNews) - European stocks advanced on Wednesday as investors cheered progress in U.S.-China trade talks and pinned hopes on additional stimulus from Germany and France.
Germany's coalition parties last night agreed to extend economic measures at a cost of up to 10 billion euros, including prolonging a short-time work program for an extra year to cushion the effects of the coronavirus crisis.
The French government will present its 100 billion euro stimulus plan on September 3, Prime Minister Jean Castex told France Inter radio today and added the new package marks "continuity" with emergency measures already in place.
Investors also looked ahead to Thursday's Jackson Hole meeting, during which Fed Chair Jerome Powell is expected to give details on the Federal Reserve's framework review.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose half a percent to 371.40 after declining 0.3 percent in the previous session.
The German DAX gained 0.6 percent and France's CAC 40 edged up 0.3 percent while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was marginally higher in lackluster trade.
In stock-specific action, Swedish medical equipment group Elekta soared 13 percent after reporting better-than-expected first-quarter earnings.
British doorstep lender Provident Financial soared 15 percent. After posting a first-half loss, the company said it is cautiously optimistic about the outlook for 2020 and beyond.
Gold producer Polymetal International shed 0.8 percent. The company reported that its net earnings for the six months ended 30 June 2020 rose to US$381 million from last year's US$153 million.
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell edged up slightly in spite of a downgrade by Barclays Capital to 'underweight'.
In economic releases, French consumer sentiment index held steady at 94.0 in August, survey data from the statistical office Insee showed. The score came in line with expectations.
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