European stocks end higher, maintaining strong November start

European stocks end higher, maintaining strong November start

European stocks locked in gains and ended higher on Friday, contributing to a strong November start as investors breathed a sigh of relief on prospects for an easing of trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

How are markets performing?

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.28% finished up 0.3% to 364.08, building on gains Thursday. For the week, the pan-European benchmark was up 3.3%, for its biggest weekly percentage gain since December 2016, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, +0.44% climbed 0.4% to 11,518.99 at market close, while France’s CAC 40 PX1, +0.32% finished 0.3% higher at 5,102.13.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, -0.29% meanwhile slipped, ending Friday 0.3% lower at 7,094.12.

The euro EURUSD, -0.2016% pared earlier gains and was in the red, buying $1.1386, while the British pound GBPUSD, -0.2922% bought $1.2965.

What’s driving the market?

Risk sentiment improved on Friday, after President Donald Trump described a phone call with China’s President Xi Jinping as a “long and very good conversation in a tweet. Investors took this as testament to the world’s two largest economies inching closer to ending a trade spat that has been a dominant theme in financial markets this year.

Trump and Xi are also set to meet during the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires that is scheduled for later this month.

What stocks are active?

Shares of Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered AMSYF, -5.98% finished 4% higher, while luxury goods companies were also making gains. Kering AMSYF, -5.98% the group owning the likes of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, ended Friday’s session 5.5% up, and British brand Burberry AMSYF, -5.98% ended 2.6% higher.

Ford Motor Co. F, +0.97% and Volkswagen AG VOW, +2.71% are in talks to create a joint self-driving car venture, according to The Wall Street Journal, aligning two of the world’s largest auto makers in the industry’s race to reshape the future of transportation as they look to challenge the likes of Tesla TSLA, +0.62% and Alphabet’s Waymo GOOGL, -1.33%

Volkswagen finished the session 2.4% higher.

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