(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)