By Emily Horton
Europe’s markets were positive on Friday, after investor optimism from U.S.-China trade talks spread through the indexes.
How are markets performing?
The Stoxx Europe 600 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -2.90% gained 0.2% to 371.33, after finishing down 0.3% on Thursday.
Italy’s FTSE MIB index /zigman2/quotes/210598024/delayed IT:I945 -2.97% was the regions top climber, adding 0.3% to 20,277.26.
Meanwhile the rest of Europe’s major indexes added around 0.3% on Friday, with the German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210223310/composite DAX -4.83% rising 0.6% to 11,487.86, the FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -3.83% jumping 0.6% to 7,206.28 and France’s CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -4.30% rising 0.4% to 5,214.81.
The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD -0.1824% climbed on Friday, fetching $1.1331 from $1.1337 late in New York on Thursday, while the pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.2183% dropped 0.4% to $1.2989 from $1.3040.
What’s driving the markets?
As this week’s trade talks between the U.S. and China come to a close, investors are optimistic about progress, with President Donald Trump reportedl y set to meet with China’s top trade negotiator on Friday. Although negotiations appear to be moving forward, officials from both sides have reportedly struggled to agree on specific language as they develop the framework of a potential trade deal.
Germany’s economy narrowly missed falling into recession in the final quarter of last year, official data from the Office of National Statistics showed on Friday. Higher state spending and booming construction prevented the Europe’s largest economy from slumping.
The final eurozone CPI reading for January inflation also due out on Friday, which is “expected to show that headline inflation fell further from 1.6% to 1.4%, with core prices set to stay unchanged at 1.1%,” according to Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
What stocks are active?
FTSE 250-listed challenger bank Metro Bank PLC /zigman2/quotes/206637465/delayed UK:MTRO -7.54% gained 5%, after it was awarded £120 million in funding from Banking Competition Remedies Ltd. The funding, which is part of a £775 million Royal Bank of Scotland PLC /zigman2/quotes/209265718/delayed UK:RBS -5.23% scheme designed to boost competition in the business banking sector, was awarded to the retail bank despite its recent serious account errors.
Société Générale S.A. /zigman2/quotes/206663756/delayed FR:GLE -9.53% added 2%, after the French investment bank said it was considering cutting “hundreds or even thousands of jobs” in an effort to offset growing cost pressure from regulation, Bloomberg reports.
Meanwhile, Swedish bank Swedbank AB /zigman2/quotes/203208387/delayed SE:SWED.A -1.81% added 4%, while Barclays /zigman2/quotes/208409333/delayed UK:BARC -11.95% lost 2% after lackluster earnings on Thursday.