(Reuters) – European shares opened higher on Wednesday, bolstered by China’s move to exempt some U.S. goods from additional tariffs, the latest sign that a prolonged trade war between the two sides is cooling. Trade-sensitive German shares <.GDAXI> led gains, with traders continuing to rotate into battered stocks such as autos and banks from defensive sectors. The pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> was up 0.3% at 0708 GMT.
China’s finance ministry said on Wednesday 16 types of U.S. goods would be exempted by additional retaliatory tariffs from Sept. 17, further buoying investor sentiment. All eyes are now on the European Central Bank’s monetary policy meeting on Thursday, where it is widely expected to cut interest rates and restart an asset purchase programme. However, analysts have warned that market expectations on the extent of the stimulus could be too high.
Debt-laden French retailer Casino <CASP.PA> was the top gainer on STOXX 600, up 4.4%, on a report that rival Carrefour <CARR.PA> is weighing a possible bid potentially through an all-share deal.
(Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)