UPDATE 2-ECB, upbeat trade news push up European shares before UK election outcome

UPDATE 2-ECB, upbeat trade news push up European shares before UK election outcome

Reuters  | Dec 13, 2019 01:40

UPDATE 2-ECB, upbeat trade news push up European shares before UK election outcome

(For a live blog on European stocks, type LIVE/ in an Eikon
news window)
* Trump says China trade deal 'very close'
* U.S. offers to cancel Dec. 15 tariffs- WSJ
* 'Wise owl' Lagarde outlines broad ECB review, hold rates
* UK exit polls expected after voting closes at 2200 GMT
* AB InBev falls as its $11 bln asset sale to Asahi hits

(Adds market move after Lagarde's comments, trade developments
and updates prices to close)
By Susan Mathew
Dec 12 (Reuters) - Euro zone banks enjoyed their best day in
two months on Thursday after comments by new ECB chief Christine
Lagarde, and European shares were propelled further by
U.S.-China trade developments.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX closed up 0.3% as
euro zone banks .SX7E rose 2.8%, with investors taking comfort
from Lagarde saying she was aware of the side effects of the
European Central Bank's unconventional monetary policy.
The ECB kept its sub-zero interest rates steady and, at her
first meeting as president of the ECB, Lagarde said she was
neither a policy hawk nor a dove but an owl who will use her
wisdom to heal a recent rift in the Governing Council.
She also said the bank expects in January to begin a
strategic review of how it does business. "Lagarde seems poised to help take the eurozone out of
negative rates, with her first move possibly changing her risk
assessment in the near future," said Edward Moya, a senior
market analyst at OANDA who described her as "slightly hawkish".
Bank-heavy indexes in Italy .FTMIB and Spain .IBEX rose
1% and 0.8% respectively, as overnight the U.S. Federal Reserve
also held an accommodative stance.
Trade-sensitive German shares .GDAXI rallied 0.6% after a
report saying Washington had offered to cancel tariffs set to
take effect on Chinese goods on Dec. 15 and a tweet from U.S.
President Donald Trump suggesting a trade deal with China was
very close. Uncertainty around a trade deal as new tariffs loomed had
dampened sentiment among investors this week.
These developments helped European shares stay firmly in the
black before exit polls from an election in Britain which may
determine whether Britain exits the European Union soon after
3-1/2-years of uncertainty.
London's internationally focused FTSE 100 index .FTSE and
an index of more domestically focused firms .FTMC both firmed
around 0.7%. GBP/ .L
Opinion polls have pointed to the ruling Conservatives, led
by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, gaining a parliamentary
majority that enables his stalled Brexit deal to be passed, but
the latest polls have shown the lead shrinking. Exit polls are
due around 2200 GMT.
Dublin's ISEQ .ISEQ , typically sensitive to Brexit news,
rose 0.6%.
In corporate news, Anheuser-Busch InBev's ABI.BR weighed
the most on the STOXX 600 after Australia's competition
regulator said the Belgian brewer's $11 billion asset sale to
Japan's Asahi 2502.T could hurt competition in Australia's
cider sector.

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