Europe midday: Markets mixed as Sino-US talks in focus
European stocks were mixed at lunchtime on Thursday as investors digested mixed news on the upcoming Sino-US trade talks, while luxury shares climbed after strong results from LVMH.
At 1202 BST, the Stoxx 600 was 0.1% lower at 379.88, the German Dax rose 0.1% to 12,101.21 and France's CAC 40 climbed 0.4% to 5,519.30. Meanwhile, London's FTSE 100 was down 0.1% at 7,161.68.
With senior-level trade talks between China and the US set to resume later on Thursday, a report from the South China Morning Post said low-level preliminary negotiations from earlier in the week had broken down with no progress.
However, The New York Times had rather more positive news as it reported that the US government plans to allow some US companies to sell goods to Chinese tech-giant Huawei.
IG analyst Chris Beauchamp said: "It was going to be a week of headlines, and it is far from over yet. Expectations of any progress remain low, which at least provides the potential for a pleasant surprise, and reports that the US is considering a currency pact as part of a stage one deal have helped to restore some optimism."
Among individual stocks, luxury goods were up after LVMH's third-quarter revenue growth exceeded expectations, alleviating fears that the sector might suffer due to weaker Chinese sales amid disruption in Hong Kong.
Shares in Christian Dior, Kering, Hugo Boss and Burberry were all significantly higher following the news.
Danish food ingredient maker Chr Hansen was the top faller on the Stoxx 600 after it reported lower-than-expected full-year profits and cut its anticipated organic sales growth for next year to between 4% and 8%.
Philips Electronics dropped after warning it will miss profit margin targets due to the impact of tariffs and reduced production levels at its connected-care business.
Industrial enzymes maker Novozymes was also trading lower after it issued its third profit warning in six months, blaming a fall in US ethanol production.