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European Shares Edge Higher In Cautious Trade


European shares edged higher on Monday as investors digested the results of Sunday's Italian elections and the Social Democratic party's vote for a coalition agreement with Angela Merkel in Germany.

Meanwhile, as trade tensions mount, investors awaited details on U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum imports.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index was up 0.4 percent at 368.41 in late opening deals after tumbling as much as 2.1 percent on Friday.

The German DAX and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 were also up about 0.4 percent, while France's CAC 40 index was rising 0.3 percent.

Energy and material stocks surged ahead of a meeting between OPEC and U.S. shale firms. Tullow Oil rallied 2.6 percent, while Anglo American and Antofagasta rose 1 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

Royal Bank of Scotland climbed 1.8 percent after reports that it is edging towards a final deal over mis-selling RMBS prior to the 2008 financial crisis.

Airbus rose over 1 percent as possible job cuts loom.

AXA slumped almost 7 percent after the French insurer agreed to acquire XL Group Ltd (XL), a global Property & Casualty commercial lines insurer for total consideration of US$15.3 billion or 12.4 billion euros in cash.

On the economic front, the Eurozone private sector expanded slightly less than initially estimated in February, final data from IHS Markit showed. The composite output index dropped to 57.1 from January's near 12-year high of 58.8. The flash reading was 57.5.

Survey data from IHS Markit revealed that British service sector activity expanded at the fastest pace in four months in February. The IHS Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 54.5 from 53.0 in January.

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