LONDON: European stock markets rose on Thursday (Sep 26) after US President Donald Trump said a trade deal with China could come sooner than expected, and also reported steps towards a new agreement with Japan.
But US equities came under pressure from political upheaval in Washington, analysts said.
Trump, on Wednesday at the United Nations, said a deal with China was getting closer, sending equities higher despite concerns over the launch of an impeachment inquiry against the mercurial leader.
The remarks came just a day after Trump railed against Chinese "abuses" at the UN summit, comments that had been seen as among the factors causing stocks to fall Tuesday.
Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex trading group, said "investors chose to buy into Trump's trade optimism, allowing the markets to push higher".
Trump also said Washington and Tokyo had taken a major step towards sealing a comprehensive new trade deal, which will see Japan cut tariffs on US$7 billion of US farm exports while the US would cut tariffs on some Japanese agricultural goods.
'SLIVER OF OPTIMISM'
"Investors have been 'trade war' bearish for so long that any sliver of optimism is cheered," Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a note.
The Japanese deal also "suggests the president is open to an 'interim' trade deal, possibly signalling he is willing to negotiate one with China", Innes said.
European stock markets were firmly in the black in the mid-afternoon, with London the standout
Wall Street, which had opened a touch higher, slipped into negative territory as traders weighed an impeachment process against Donald Trump after a whistleblower complaint said the president had sought to use the power of his office to pressure Ukraine into helping him with his 2020 campaign.
Analysts say the market's attitude towards the new impeachment inquiry is wait-and-see.
Earlier, Asian markets had cheered Trump's comments on trade.
Crude prices slipped after an unexpected rise in US inventory and a swift recovery in Saudi Arabia's output following the Sep 14 attacks on its oil infrastructure.
Key figures around 1550 GMT:
London - FTSE 100: UP 0.8 per cent at 7,351.08 points (close)
Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.4 per cent at 12,288.54 (close)
Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.7 per cent at 5,620.57 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.5 per cent at 3,532.18
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.4 per cent at 26,041.93 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.7 per cent at 2,929.087 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 per cent at 22,048.24 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at US$1.0937 from US$1.0944 at 2100 GMT
Pound/dollar: DOWN at US$1.2353 from US$1.2355
Euro/pound: DOWN at 88.55 from 88.56 pence
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 107.69 yen from 107.77
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 36 cents at US$61.06 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 55 cents at US$55.86 per barrel