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European Markets End Higher Again On Trade Talks Hopes

European markets ended mostly higher on Thursday amid optimism the high-level trade negotiations between the U.S. and China will help ease tensions between the world's two largest economics and bring the countries closer towards working on a trade deal.

Slightly easing worries about Brexit after the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Irish PM Leo Vardakar came out with positive comments regarding a Brexit deal helped as well.

The pan European Stoxx 600 ended up 0.65%. France's CAC 40 surged up 1.27%, Germany's DAX advanced 0.58% and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 ended up 0.28%, while Switzerland's SMI gained 0.74%.

Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain and Sweden ended higher.

Denmark, Iceland, Poland and Russia closed weak, while Czech Republic and Ukraine ended flat.

Shares of luxury goods makers were in demand after LVMH, the Louis Vuitton owner, posted higher-than-expected third quarter sales, despite the negative impact of protests in Hong Kong. Gucci-owner Kering ended with strong gains and Burberry moved up as well. Louis Vuitton gained more than 5.5%.

ArcelorMittal ended more than 6% up and Saint Gobain gained 4.15%. Peugeot, BNP Paribas, Bouygues, Atos, Credit Agricole, Capgemini, Michelin and STMicroElectronics ended stronger by 1.4 to 3.5%.

Shares of German sugar producer Suedzucker declined sharply on dismal first-half operating results.

Shares of Avacta Group declined 8.5% after the biotechnology company announced that it has entered into a collaboration and option agreement with ADC Therapeutics SA, a Swiss clinical-stage oncology-focused biotechnology company.

Antofagasta, Anglo American, Lloyds Banking, Kingfisher, Persimmon, Prudential, Glencore, Legal & General and RBS, gained 3 to 4.5%. Barclays ended nearly 3% up, while NMC Health, Standard Life, Taylor Wimpey and Johnson Matthey gained 2.3 to 2.8%.

Hargreaves Lansdown declined 2.7% after its new business was impacted by "weak investor sentiment."

In Germany, Linde, Deutsche Bank, Volkswagen, Dalmier, Lufthansa, Covestro, HeidelbergCement, BASF, BMW and Continental gained 1 to 3%.

In economic news, Germany's exports fell by more-than-expected 1.8% month-on-month in August, reversing a 0.8% rise in July. Exports were forecast to fall 1%. Meanwhile, imports rose 0.5% after falling 2.4% a month ago. Economists had forecast a 0.3% rise.

As a result, the trade surplus fell to a seasonally adjusted EUR 18.1 billion from EUR 20.5 billion in July.

France's industrial production declined unexpectedly in August, falling 0.9% on month, on weak manufacturing and mining activity, data from the statistical office Insee showed Thursday.

The UK economy expanded in three months to August for the second consecutive time suggesting that it is on the course to avoid a recession ahead of Brexit. GDP rose to 0.3% from 0.1% in three months to July, data released by the Office for National Statistics showed.

The European Central Bank policymakers agreed on the need to act amid weakening economic outlook but a number of reservations were expressed about the elements of policy package, the minutes of the September 11-12 Governing Council meeting showed Thursday.

ECB Chief Mario Draghi said all members agreed on the need to act in response to the continued shortfall of inflation and that a clear majority of members supported the proposed measures.

The Governing Council reiterated the need for a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy for a prolonged period of time and that it continued to stand ready to adjust all of its instruments, as appropriate. However, there was disagreement on the size and instruments included in the stimulus package.

At the final policy session of Draghi as central bank chief, the council took a host of stimulus measures. The bank slashed the deposit rate by 10 basis points to -0.5% and decided to restart its asset purchase programme.

In trade news, U.S. President Donald Trump revealed he plans to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He as part of high-level U.S.-China trade talks.

"Big day of negotiations with China. They want to make a deal, but do I? I meet with the Vice Premier tomorrow at The White House," Trump tweeted.

Meanwhile, Liu told Chinese state-run media Xinhua the Chinese delegation has come to the talks with "great sincerity and is willing to make serious exchanges with the U.S. on issues of common concern."

"On the basis of equality and mutual respect, China is willing to reach consensus with the U.S. through this round of consultations on issues of mutual concern to prevent further escalation and spread of friction," Liu said.

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