Europe close: Stocks stage small bounce after US President sounds optimistic note
Stocks across the Continent staged a small bounce at the end of the week helped by some more optimistic sounding noises out of the White House regarding US-China trade talks.
On Thursday evening, US President Donald Trump said that Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturer, Huawei, could be part of a trade deal, even as he described it as "very dangerous".
"You look at what they've done from a security standpoint, a military standpoint. Very dangerous. [...] If we made a deal, I could imagine Huawei being possibly included in some form or some part of it Trump said," Trump said.
Analysts were nevertheless unconvinced.
"On the surface this does appear to be a slight softening of tone by President Trump, however it doesn’t mean we are any closer to a resolution," said CMC Markets UK's Michael Hewson.
"If anything this is likely to rumble on over the summer, as the US administration digs in for the long haul after announcing a three stage aid package for US farmers."
By the end of trading, the benchmark Stoxx 600 had gained 0.56% to 375.89, alongside an advance of 0.49% to 12,011.04 for the German Dax.
Milan's FTSE Mibtel meanwhile was ahead by 1.19% at 20,376.03 helped by a small rally in Italian government debt after one of the country's deputy prime minister's, the Lega's Matteo Salvini, struck what some observers said was a more conciliatory tone regarding the country's public deficit.
He reportedly said he was open to talking to Berlin and Paris regarding an increase in Italy's deficit ceiling.
On the back of his remarks, the yield on the Italian 10-year BTP's were down by nine basis points to 2.55%.
There was little scheduled in terms of economic data at the end of the week aside from the release of the Belgian central bank's business confidence survey for May, although investors were keen to learn the results of the elections to the European Parliament due out on Sunday.
It was also a light day in terms of the corporate news flow.
Investors in French retailer Casino were dealt a good hand on Friday, after the retailer said that its parent company's decision to file for protection from creditors would not keep it from executing on strategy.
Swiss asset manager GAM was another big gainer following news that multi-billionaire George Soros had taken a 3% stake in the firm.