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European Shares Rally As Political Worries Ease

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European stocks rallied on Wednesday as investors cheered positive political developments in Italy, Britain and Hong Kong.

Italian bonds climbed for a third day after Prime Minister-designate Giuseppe Conte won backing to form a new government.

British lawmakers will now move to pass a bill that will make a no-deal Brexit illegal after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a humiliating defeat over his Brexit strategy.

Elsewhere, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam is set to announce the formal withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill that triggered months of unrest.

On the economic front, the euro zone business growth improved slightly since July, while the region's retail sales declined at the fastest pace seen so far this year in July, separate reports showed.

Data released earlier in the day showed that activity in China's services sector expanded at the fastest pace in three months in August.

The focus now shifts to a European Central Bank meeting next week, with investors expecting a stimulus package including a rate cut.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was up 0.95 percent at 383.39 after declining 0.2 percent in the previous session.

The German DAX was rallying 1.2 percent, France's CAC 40 index was rising 1.1 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was moving up 0.3 percent. Italy's FTSE MIB index was up as much as 1.6 percent.

Shares of Assa Abloy AB climbed 2.1 percent in Sweden after the Swedish conglomerate announced that it has acquired U.S.-based LifeSafety Power.

French uxury goods company LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton rallied 3.3 percent and Gucci owner Kering jumped 3.8 percent ahead of an announcement on the formal withdrawal of a China extradition bill that sparked unprecedented political unrest in Hong Kong.

Defense electronics group Thales soared 6.4 percent after reporting higher first-half profits.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group advanced 1.6 percent. The bank said that it expects to book an unexpected charge of 600 million to 900 million pounds ($722.9 million-$1.08 billion) in its third-quarter accounts.

Miners Anglo American, Antofagasta and Glencore were up over 1 percent.

British American Tobacco gained 0.9 percent after its subsidiary B.A.T Capital Corporation priced an offering of $3.50 billion aggregate principal amount of guaranteed debt securities.

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