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European Markets Close Higher On Earnings, Trade Optimism

European markets ended higher on Friday, as strong earnings reports from major U.S. lenders JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, and optimism over U.S.-China trade deal outweighed worries about global growth. Easing worries over Brexit contributed as well to the positive mood in Europe.

The pan European Stoxx 600 edged up 0.16%. Among the major markets in Europe, Germany ended on a firm note, with its benchmark DAX rising 0.54%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 and France's CAC 40 ended higher by 0.26% and 0.31%, respectively. Switzerland's SMI ended down 0.67%.

Among other markets, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Sweden closed on a positive note.

Iceland, Netherlands, Norway and Turkey ended flat, while Denmark, Poland and Ukraine closed weak.

The U.S. earnings season kicked off on a promising note today. JPMorgan Chase & Co reported first-quarter earnings per share of $2.65 compared to $2.37, a year ago. Analysts had expected the lender to post net earnings of $2.35 per share. The bank posted a record net income of $9.2 billion in the first quarter, up 5%.

Bank and other financial services shares were among the notable gainers in European markets today. Hospitality and airlines stocks continued to do well.

Wells Fargo & Co said its bottomline totaled $5.51 billion, or $1.20 per share, in the first quarter, compared with $4.73 billion, or $0.96 per share, a year ago.

In the German market, BASF surged up 3.3%. Infineon Technologies ended nearly 3% up. Daimler, BMW, Deutsche Bank, Continental, Volkswagen, Siemens and Lufthansa gained 1 to 2.5%.

French stocks Societe Generale, BNP Paribas and Valeo gained 3.2 to 4%. Credit Agricole, Essilor, ArcelorMittal and STMicroElectronics moved up by 2 to 3%.

In the UK market, Standard Chartered ended nearly 3.5% up. DS Smith, Glencore, Smurfit Kappa Group, Antofagasta, G4S, Coca-Cola, 3i Group, Vodafone, TUI and Barclays also closed notably higher.

Rolls Royce gained more than 1% after the company said that it has entered into a deal with Korea's Air Premia for making engines for Korean jets.

In economic news from Europe, data released by Destatis showed Germany's wholesale price index rose 1.8% year-on-year in March, following a 1.6% rise in February.

On a month-on-month basis, wholesale prices rose 0.3% in February, the same pace of increase as in January.

Spain's consumer price inflation rose 1.3% year-on-year in March, a four month high, led by rise in price of transportation, data from the statistical office INE showed. In February, CPI rose 1.1%.

Meanwhile, eurozone's industrial production fell in February after rising in the previous month, figures from the statistical office showed on Friday.

Industrial production fell 0.2% month-on-month in February, reversing a 1.9% rise in January. Economists had forecast a 0.6% decline.

On a year-on-year basis, industrial production decreased 0.3% after a 0.7% slump in January. Economists had forecast a 1% fall.

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