European markets close higher ahead of Trump speech

Cautious optimism ahead of President Donald Trump’s speech, which may offer insights on Europe’s auto tariffs and China trade

                                

Major European indices closed higher as investors reacted to reports that President Donald Trump could announce the delay of new auto tariffs on Europe during a speech at midday in New York.

The FTSE 100 finished on 7365.44, 0.50 per cent up on the day, shrugging off news that employment in the UK has fallen at its fastest rate in four years and boosted by Vodafone’s improved 2020 outlook.

Pan European Euro Stoxx 600 drifted in much the same way, closing 0.52 per cent up, lifted by gains in German chipmakers Dialog and Infineon, which reported better-than-expected earnings.

In the US, major markets opened slightly higher ahead of Trump’s speech, which may also offer insights on an eventual resolution of the prolonged tariff dispute between China and the US.

The S&P 500 was edging up by the start of afternoon trading, up 0.43 per cent around the 3,100 level. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was also seeing marginal gains, up 0.25 per cent.

The pound was marginally higher against the euro, at €1.17, and almost unchanged against the dollar at $1.2855.

Bitcoin was US$8705 in afternoon trading.

Gold traded close to its lowest level in three months on as the upbeat mood prevailed in global markets. Spot gold slipped 0.6 per cent to $1,447.31 per ounce, having touched its lowest since August 5.

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