Trade tariff reprieve boosts European shares
U.S. President Trump's decision to delay an increase in tariffs on Chinese goods drove European shares up to their highest level since early October as carmakers and miners rallied, while Bank of Ireland slumped after results.
The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.2 percent by 0825 GMT, in line with Germany's trade-sensitive DAX. The STOXX hit a high of 373.18 points in early deals, its highest since Oct. 10.
Autos and basic resources stocks jumped 1.1 percent as the tariff reprieve triggered relief in the sectors considered most at risk from slower, more expensive global trade.
Car parts makers Valeo and Faurecia were among the top performers, up 2.6 percent, while steel firms Arcelormittal and Norsk Hydro also gained 2.4 percent and commodity trader Glencore rose 2.2 percent.
Disappointing results drove some significant falls.
Shares in Bank of Ireland tumbled 7.5 percent after the lender cut its outlook for 2019 and reported a weaker fourth-quarter net interest margin.
Covestro shares fell 3.7 percent after the German chemicals group said its 2019 core earnings could fall to as little as half of last year's level.
But the market was supported by a rally in Italian shares.
Italy's FTSE MIB outperformed the market, climbing 0.8 percent as government bonds also jumped after Fitch affirmed its BBB credit rating on the country.
Shares in banks, which have significant government bond holdings, jumped 1.7 percent.