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European shares inch higher as financials rise

European shares inch higher as financials rise
The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, October 29, 2019. REUTERS/Staff -
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(Reuters) – European shares edged higher on Wednesday, boosted by financial stocks, as investors parsed through a mixed bag of earnings reports and awaited new developments on trade talks between the United States and China.

Societe Generale shares <SOGN.PA> rose 3.5% after the bank said it had set aside three-quarters of the cash needed to deliver a planned dividend payout this year.

The French bank helped power a 1% rise in bank stocks <.SX7P>, and the pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> was up 0.06% by 0826 GMT.

Supermarket operator Ahold Delhaize <AD.AS> rose 2.2% after the Dutch company posted quarterly core earnings ahead of analysts’ forecasts.

European shares were close to all-time highs, ending Tuesday at a more than four-year peak as investors grew more optimistic about a trade truce between the United States and China.

The lack of fresh trade developments helped shift focus back to the third-quarter earnings season which has been modestly better-than-expected so far.

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru, editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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