(Reuters) - European shares rose to six-week highs on Wednesday, as China eased trade worries by saying it would exempt some U.S. goods from additional tariffs, with eyes also moving to a European Central Bank meeting expected to deliver more economic stimulus.
FILE PHOTO: A trader sits in front of the computer screens at his desk at the Frankfurt stock exchange, Germany, June 29, 2015. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo
Euro zone stocks .STOXXE were up 0.5% at 0831 GMT, with investors piling into banks .SX7P, miners .SXPP and auto parts .SXAP shares for a second day.
Germany's trade-sensitive DAX's .GDAXI rose 0.6%, while London's FTSE 100 .FTSE jumped 0.9% and led the wider pan-European STOXX 600 index higher.
In the latest sign that tensions with the United States could be cooling, China’s finance ministry said 16 types of U.S. goods would be exempted from additional retaliatory tariffs effective Sept. 17.
“The China (tariff) exemption has bolstered optimism,” said Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex in London. “It’s like a conciliatory nod between the two superpowers and a reminder that those channels are still open.”
Markets now await a response to China’s move from Washington after months of tit for tat moves that have hurt global growth and spurred a handful of stock market sell-offs.
All of the major European indexes have recouped losses sustained in a rough August for markets, with the STOXX up about 7% since touching a low of 361.07 last month.
However, analysts were still far from predicting that a U.S.-China trade deal could be struck this year.
“An exemption list of just 16 items will not change China’s stance,” Iris Pang, a Greater China economist with ING, wrote in a note. “We believe that China will stand very firm in the negotiations.”
All eyes are now on the ECB’s monetary policy meeting on Thursday, where it is widely expected to cut interest rates and restart an asset purchase program at a time when the euro zone’s main economy - Germany - is slipping toward recession.
On the corporate front, Austrian plant engineering company Andritz (ANDR.VI) jumped 5.1% after Berenberg upgraded the stock to “buy” on expectations of strong earnings growth.
Zara owner Inditex (ITX.MC) fell 2.4% and was among the biggest decliners on the pan-regional benchmark after it reported weaker-than-expected growth in profit margins in the first half of the year.
Italian shares .FTMIB rose 0.6%, recovering from a fall in the last session.
Trade-reliant tech stocks .SX8P were boosted by a rally in the shares of European suppliers to Apple Inc (AAPL.O) after the iPhone maker launched its latest models on Tuesday.
Reporting by Susan Mathew and Sagarika Jaisighani in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Patrick Graham