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Welcome relief

The US decision to delay tariffs on some Chinese exports provided welcome relief for battered markets. In Europe, the DAX gained 0.60% despite economic data showing a collapse in German investor sentiment, and as growth fell on a slump in exports. The biggest gainer was the Italian FTSE MIB, which was up 1.36%, helped by a delay in deputy prime minister Salvini’s plans to call a general election.

London shares were lifted 0.33%, extending the gains made yesterday. Topping the FTSE 100 was insurance group Admiral, gaining 4.04% on news that its interim pre-tax profits rose 4%. Astra Zeneca gained 1.70% on news of positive results on its ovarian cancer drugs trials, and Vodafone gained 1.24%. The benchmark’s laggards included publisher Auto Trader and steel producer Evraz.

Improved sentiment

In Asia, Nikkei led the way, with a gain of 0.98%, while Kospi 200 gained 0.7% thanks to the energy and tech sectors. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.6%, and the Hang Seng was able to add 0.5%, despite the continuing confrontations between protestors and police.

The main US indices were all up, allowing a move back towards riskier assets, with car makers, tech companies and commodities the main beneficiaries.

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