Finance

European stocks touch 4-year high as Trump says US, China close to a trade deal; Altran shares higher

European markets are set to open higher on Wednesday, as investors track positive mood music around U.S.-China trade talks.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 is seen climbing 6 points to 7,414; Germany’s DAX is seen 18 points higher at 13,261; and France’s CAC up by 6 points at 5,941, according to IG index data.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that Washington and Beijing were in the “final throes” of talks aimed at securing a trade deal, though the U.S. leader also expressed his administration’s support for protestors in Hong Kong, a particularly thorny issue for China at the moment.

Stocks stateside closed at record highs following Trump’s comments. In Asia, markets climbed on the back of optimism around trade, with the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.2%.

Back in Europe, market participants kept a close watch on the latest political developments out of the U.K., as the country heads for a fresh set of elections on Dec. 12.

Britain’s two main political parties have become embroiled in a debate over religious prejudice. The opposition Labour party was accused by the chief rabbi of failing to tackle anti-Semitism seriously, while a Muslim group said the ruling Conservative party has an Islamophobia problem.

In corporate news, Reuters reports that Lufthansa is in final talks to complete the sale of its European catering operations to Swiss firm Gategroup.

As for data, fresh figures showed that Chinese industrial profits dropped for a third consecutive month in October. In Europe, French consumer confidence data is due later Wednesday morning.

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