World Markets

European Shares Rise After Dovish Talk From Fed

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( - European stocks rose on Thursday as a dovish turn in the Fed's policy statement and higher oil prices helped investors shrug off weak manufacturing data from China as well as mixed earnings reports.

Meanwhile, U.S.-China trade negotiations enter their second day with a common statement expected after the talks conclude.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was up 0.1 percent at 358.92 in opening deals after rising 0.4 percent in the previous session. The benchmark index rose nearly half a percent to hit its highest level since Dec 4 in early trade.

The German DAX was moving up 0.3 percent, France's CAC 40 index was rising 0.4 percent and the U.K.'sFTSE 100 was gaining 0.6 percent.

Spirits maker Diageo jumped over 4 percent in London after it posted strong first-half results and unveiled a £660m share buyback.

Dairy company Dairy Crest Group rose 1.2 percent. The company posted good results in its third quarter and said the outlook for the full year remains in line with expectations.

Royal Dutch Shell rallied 3.4 percent after its full-year profit surged by more than a third to the highest since 2014.

German electronics retailer Ceconomy AG jumped 2.6 percent after appointing a new CEO.

Roche advanced 1.8 percent. The Swiss drug major posted strong results for 2018, reflecting the benefits from the U.S. tax reform and higher net financial income.

Telecom equipment maker Nokia fell 4.7 percent after it forecast a soft first half due to uncertainty over the timing of 5G rollouts.

Consumer goods giant Unilever lost 3 percent after it warned of a tough year ahead.

Swiss watchmaker Swatch slumped 6.2 percent and Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB dropped 2 percent after reporting weaker than expected results.

Software AG slumped 5.4 percent after a disappointing trading update with a warning on FY19 margins.

In economic releases, German retail sales declined sharply in December, defying expectations for further increase, preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office showed.

Retail sales fell 2.1 percent year-on-year, after a 1.9 percent increase in November. Economists were looking for a 1.5 percent gain. The latest decrease was the biggest since a 3 percent slump in September.

The Federal Statistics Office said its jobless rate held steady at a seasonally adjusted 5.0 percent in January, matching expectations.

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