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European Shares Inch Higher On Trade Deal Hopes


European stocks inched higher on Friday and remained on track to post their best weekly gain in a month, as Brexit-related worries eased and investors remained hopeful for a U.S.-China trade deal.

Investors ignored comments from U.S. President Donald Trump that he is in "no rush" to complete a trade deal with China.

The British pound drifted lower against the dollar and euro after lawmakers voted to postpone the country's departure from the European Union, giving Prime Minister Theresa May some breathing space.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was up 0.1 percent at 379 in opening deals, on track for a weekly gain of 2.2 percent.

The German DAX was up 0.1 percent, France's CAC 40 index was rising 0.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was gaining half a percent.

Italian oil and gas company Eni SpA rose half a percent after revising its fiscal 2018 reported net profit.

Swiss banking giant UBS Group dropped 1 percent after publishing its compensation report.

Hennes & Mauritz slumped 5 percent. The Swedish fashion retailer said its first-quarter net sales increased by 10 percent. Sales grew by 4 percent in local currencies.

Restaurant Group soared 8.4 percent in London. After posting a fall in annual profit, the company said its controversial takeover of Wagamama would prove "transformative".

Berkeley Group Holdings advanced 1.6 percent. The builder of homes, neighborhoods and communities, said its trading environment remains consistent with that experienced over the last two years.

Automakers BMW and Daimler were up around half a percent in Frankfurt after industry data showed February car sales grew 2.7 percent in Germany following months of decline.

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