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European shares steady ahead of U.S.-China trade talks

European shares steady ahead of U.S.-China trade talks
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index, DAX board, is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 15, 2018. REUTERS/Staff/Remote   -   Copyright  Reuters Staff(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – European shares steadied in early trading on Tuesday as caution settled in before trade talks between the United States and China later in the week, though a weaker dollar boosted shares in international earners and commodities sectors.

The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> index was flat in percentage terms by 0723 GMT. Germany’s DAX <.GDAXI> rose 0.2 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 <.FTSE> was also steady.

Worries over a trade dispute between the U.S. and China have been a drag on markets, accompanied by escalating rounds of tit-for-tat tariffs.

Investors hope the trade talks on Wednesday will ease some of the tensions. But U.S. President Donald Trump said in an interview that he does not expected much progress.

European stocks have dipped into negative territory for the year, down 1.6 percent, amid worries over trade and a currency crisis in Turkey.

On Tuesday, a weaker dollar supported shares in companies that get much their revenue overseas. Consumer staples provided the biggest boost to the STOXX, while a stronger oil price supported energy stocks.

Though the earnings season is largely over in Europe, shares in oilfield services company Wood Plc <WG.L> were among the top STOXX gainers, up more than 4 percent, after reporting a first-half profit towards the higher end of its forecast.

Russian mining company Polymetal <POLYP.L> also rose 2.1 percent after giving a half-year update. Denmark’s Jyske Bank <JYSK.CO> led banking stocks higher after its second-quarter earnings release.

However, shares in BHP Billiton <BLT.L> were down around 2 percent after its underlying profit came in below forecasts.

(Reporting by Kit Rees, editing by Larry King)

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