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European shares inch higher as financials rise

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By Reuters
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   -   Copyright  STAFF(Reuters)

(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)