European shares edge higher, M&A boosts insurers

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
European shares edge higher, M&A boosts insurers
Credit: © Reuters.

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Dec 6 (Reuters) - European shares inched higher on Friday as comments from U.S. President Donald Trump that trade talks with China were "moving right along" helped inject some calm into the markets after a rocky week.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX rose 0.3% by 0819 GMT, with banks, technology firms and retail companies leading the gains.

M&A activity boosted insurers .SXIP after Phoenix Group Holdings Plc PHNX.L said it would buy the British insurance unit of Swiss Re SRENH.S in a cash-and-shares deal worth 3.2 billion pounds ($4.1 billion). Swiss Re AG shares rose 2.8%, while Phoenix Group was up 1.6%. Friday's gains, the STOXX 600 was on track to post its biggest weekly decline in two months after conflicting headlines on trade and weak euro zone economic indicators made for a volatile trading session.

Fresh numbers showed Germany's industrial output unexpectedly dropped in October, reviving worries about its economic growth outlook. Frankfurt-listed shares .GDAXI rose 0.2%.

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