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European Markets Close Higher On ECB Stimulus Hopes

European markets ended higher on Wednesday, with investors picking up stocks amid hopes the European Central Bank would announce additional stimulus to boost euro area economic growth.

Markets also reacted positively to the decision of the Chinese government to exempt 16 types of American-made products from additional tariffs as a goodwill move ahead of resumption of trade talks.

The pan European Stoxx 600 ended up 0.85%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 advanced 0.96%, Germany's DAX gained 0.64% and France's CAC 40 moved up 0.44%, while Switzerland's SMI added 0.78%.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and Turkey ended with sharp to moderate gains.

Iceland, Spain and Ukraine ended weak, while Finland, Italy and Poland, closed flat.

In the British market, EasyJet, British Land Company, Persimmon, Fresnillo, Halma, Centrica, Flutter Entertainment and Ashtead Group gained 3 to 4.2%.

BT Group, British American Tobacco, Taylor Wimpey, Bunzi, IAG, HSBC, Standard Life, Aviva and J Sainsburry also rose sharply.

In Germany, Infineon rose more than 3%. Linde, Lufthansa, Wirecard, Siemens, Merck, Beiersdorf and BASF gained 1 to 2%.

In the French market, Kering, STMicroElectronics and Unibail Rodamco surged up 3.4 to 3.8%. ArcelorMittal, Bouygues, Louis Vuitton, Publicis Groupe, Dassault Systemes and Airbus Group also closed on a firm note.

On the trade front, China is granting tariff exemptions for 16 types of American-made products as a sign of goodwill ahead of the next round of trade talks.

The list included varieties of animal feed such as alfalfa and fish meal, a couple of cancer drugs, base oil for lubricants and lubricating grease, and some farm chemicals.

The Chinese Customs Tariff Commission said the tariff suspension would take effect next Tuesday and remain in place for a year.

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