Europe close: Stocks edge higher ahead of key Brexit vote
European stocks were higher on Tuesday and trading near their best level in a year as investors digested positive Sino-US trade developments and awaited another Brexit parliamentary showdown in London.
By the end of trading, the Stoxx 600 was 0.09% higher at 394.59, as Germany's Dax rose by 0.05% to 12,754.69 and the French CAC 40 was up by 0.17% to 5,657.69. In parallel, London's FTSE 100 had climbed 0.68% to 7,212.49.
Prospects for a Sino-US trade deal looked brighter after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said good progress was being made and hinted that planned December tariff hikes on Chinese goods could be shelved if negotiations continued to steam ahead.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump was also making positive noises about the negotiations, stating that China will have to make a deal "because their supply chain is going down the tubes".
Rabobank analysts said: "Although both the US and Chinese governments have good reason to celebrate their success if a trade deal is signed next month, there are set to be plenty of loose ends in any near-term trade pact. There is no mention of Huawei in recent talks.
"Intellectual property rights and other reforms may also fail to reach the levels previously demanded by the US."
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal faces a key vote in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening, with Downing Street reportedly confident that it will have sufficient support to squeak through.
XTB analyst David Cheetham said: "If the whole Brexit process has taught us anything it is that trying to predict the next political development is something of a fool's errand and while the markets seem to remain cautiously optimistic that a deal could still come to pass, it would not be at all surprising if we see a relatively subdued day’s trade in UK assets as market participants await greater clarity before committing to any high conviction positions."
Among individual stocks, shares of Just Eat surged after it rejected an unsolicited £4.9bn cash offer from Prosus, which it said "significantly" undervalued the company.
Swedish car manufacturer Saab meanwhile rose after its third quarter earnings trounced analyst expectations on the back of doubled order intake.
Swiss logistics specialist Kuehne & Nagel was also in the green as its core earnings for the first nine months of the year were driven higher by growth from its sea freight, overland and contract logistics divisions.
Swiss financial services giant UBS edged higher as its third-quarter profit before tax fell by 21% but beat expectations.
German travel company TUI was in the red after analysts at Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to 'equal weight', citing demand uncertainty.
Lawnmower maker Husqvarna dropped after reporting that weak demand from the North American market kept third quarter operating profit from meeting expectations.
Imerys slipped after the French specialty minerals outfit cut full-year guidance and announced the resignation of chief executive Conrad Keijzer.
Norwegian oiler Aker BP edged lower after downgrading full-year production targets following issues at its North Sea Valhall field.