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European Shares Advance On Trade Optimism

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European stocks gained ground on Thursday to hit over four-year high after China and the United States reportedly agreed to cancel tariffs on each other's goods for both sides to reach a "phase one" trade deal.

The two sides have agreed in the past two weeks to cancel tariffs imposed during their months-long trade war in different phases, the Chinese commerce ministry said.

The proportion of tariffs cancelled must be the same, and how many tariffs should be cancelled can be negotiated, Gao Feng, spokesman at the commerce ministry, told reporters.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was up 0.4 percent at 406.61 after rising 0.2 percent in the previous session. The German DAX was climbing 0.7 percent and France's CAC 40 index was edging up 0.3 percent.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 was moving up 0.4 percent ahead of the Bank of England's latest policy decision, updated economic forecasts and quarterly inflation report.

J Sainsbury rose over 1 percent. After reporting a slump in pre-tax profits, the supermarket chain said it had achieved "positive momentum in grocery market share" in highly competitive times.

Homebuilder Persimmon rallied 2.6 percent. The company said that trading over the summer weeks was in line with its expectations, with the Group seeing the usual pick-up in customer activity while moving into the autumn season.

BAE Systems rose 1 percent after keeping its 2019 guidance unchanged.

Rolls Royce Holdings declined 1.7 percent. The luxury automobile maker said that despite improved trading since the first half of the year, it now expects full year operating profit and free cash flow outcome towards the lower end of its guidance ranges.

French food services and facilities management company Sodexo jumped nearly 8 percent after reporting a rise in full-year revenue and profits.

Conglomerate Lagardere rallied 2.3 percent after it reported a 5.5 percent increase in revenue for the third quarter and confirmed its FY19 recurring EBIT growth outlook.

Electric utility company Engie lost 4 percent despite confirming its 2019 financial guidance.

German lender Commerzbank fell 4.2 percent after downgrading its full-year profit outlook.

Deutsche Lufthansa soared 8 percent. The airline confirmed its FY19 view after posting a 4 percent rise in third-quarter net result.

Industrial company Siemens jumped 5 percent after its Q4 profit beat expectations.

Telecom giant Deutsche Telekom tumbled 2.5 percent. The company cut its dividend after reporting a rise in third-quarter revenue and earnings.

HeidelbergCement dropped 2 percent after posting a fall in nine-month profit.

Defense contractor Rheinmetall rallied 2.7 percent after its operating earnings for the first nine months of 2019 rose 3.9 percent.

Italian lender UniCredit climbed 5 percent after affirming its FY19 outlook.

In economic releases, investors shrugged off weak data from Destatis showing that German industrial production fell 0.6 percent month-on-month in September, reversing a 0.4 percent rise in August. Economists had forecast a moderate drop of 0.3 percent.

U.K. house prices dropped at a slower pace in October, data from the Lloyds Bank subsidiary Halifax and IHS Markit showed. House prices fell 0.1 percent in October from the previous month, when prices were down 0.4 percent.

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