Europe Opens Higher as Macro Backdrop Improves

European stock markets pushed higher at the open Monday, continuing the positive tone seen on Wall Street for most of last week as attention turned away from tensions in the Middle East and back towards global growth.

Germany’s DAX was up 0.2% by 03:30 PM ET (08:30 GMT), while the CAC 40 in France gained 0.2%. In the U.K., the FTSE 100 traded 0.4% higher, due in part to a further fall in sterling after another Bank of England policymaker added his voice to calls for an interest rate cut in an interview at the weekend.

Among the biggest gainers were German payments company Wirecard (DE:WDIG), which rose 2.8% after its chairman stepped down to make way for an independent director who has strongly supported an independent review into allegations about its accounting practices. At the bottom of the table was French carmaker Renault (PA:RENA), which fell 2.6% after a report saying that Nissan (T:7201) is planning to loosen or even break up the companies’ long-standing alliance.

The U.S. and China are expected to sign the long awaited phase one trade deal at the White House on Wednesday. This should allow the world’s two largest economies to move on from a trade war that has troubled the financial markets and hindered economic growth for the past 18 months.

Under the terms of the accord, Beijing will increase imports from the U.S. in exchange for the suspension of the December tariffs on Chinese imports to the U.S. and a partial rollback of some existing tariffs.

Economic data of note this session includes the release of U.K. monthly gross domestic product numbers for November. This is expected to be flat on the month, but there could be downside risk given the downbeat statement from the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney towards the end of last week.StockMarket

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