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European Markets End Notably Higher

European markets ended higher on Friday amid optimism about U.S.-China trade deal after the Chinese President Xi Jinping said talks will continue next week in Washington.

Some upbeat corporate earnings reports and comments from European Central Bank about a likely fresh round of long-term loans to banks aided sentiment.

The pan European Stoxx 600 ended up 1.41%. Among major markets in Europe, Germany and France ended sharply higher, with their benchmarks DAX and CAC 40 gaining 1.89% and 1.79%, respectively. U.K.'s FTSE 100 ended up 0.55%, while Switzerland's SMI gained 1.09%.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Sweden closed stronger by 1 to 2.3%. Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Poland and Turkey ended higher by 0.3 to 0.75%, while Greece edged up marginally.

Shares of German company Scout 24 soared about 11% on reports Hellman & Friedman and Blackstone offered to buy the group for 5.7 billion euros.

Covestro, Deutsche Bank and Bayer gained 4 to 5%. Continental, Lufthansa, Allianz, HeidelbergCement, Deutsche Post, BASF, Daimler, BMW, Siemens, Adidas, Linde and Fresenius ended higher by 1 to 3.7%.

In the French market, Vivendi jumped 5.6%, Valeo gained 4.7% and BNP Paribas moved up 4.2%. Credit Agricole, Renault, Airbus Group, Technip, Saint Gobain, ArcelorMittal and Societe Generale ended stronger by 3 to 4%.

In the U.K. market, Coca Cola HBC surged up 4%. Tesco, RBS, Rolls-Royce Holdings, Johnson Matthey, Glencore, Old Mutual, IAG and Lloyds Banking also rose sharply.

In economic news, Eurozone's merchandise trade surplus for December came in below economists' expectations, as exports decreased, while imports were unchanged.

According to figures from the Statistical Office Eurostat, the seasonally adjusted trade surplus fell to EUR 15.6 billion from EUR 15.8 billion in November. Economists had expected a surplus of EUR 16.3 billion.

Spain's consumer price inflation eased for the third consecutive month in January to its lowest level in twelve months, led by fall in prices of recreation and culture and transport, preliminary data from the statistical office INE showed on Friday.

Preliminary data from the Office of National Statistics showed UK retail sales rebounded strongly in January, rising 1% from a month earlier.

Spain's consumer price inflation eased for the third consecutive month in January to its lowest level in twelve months, preliminary data from the statistical office INE showed. The consumer price index rose 1% year-on-year in January.

On U.S.-China trade front, a statement from the White House said high level U.S.-China trade talks this week led to "progress between the two parties" but noted "much work remains."

The Whitehouse said the U.S. hopes to see additional progress as discussions at the ministerial and vice-ministerial levels continue in Washington next week.

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