* Germany's DAX up for fifth straight session; gains 1.7 pct
* Strong China, Euro zone data aids sentiment
* Irish stocks end at highest close in nearly six months
* Healthcare stocks dip; CRH (LON: CRH ) Hansen Q2 results lag expectations (Updates to close, adds quotes, details on Irish stocks)
By Aaron Saldanha
April 3 (Reuters) - Stocks in Europe climbed for a fourth straight session on Wednesday, propped up by positive sentiment about a potential U.S.-China trade deal, hopes of a smoother Brexit and strong economic data in China and the Eurozone.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday said "more headway" is expected to be made in U.S.-China trade talks this week, while U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May met opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday, seeking a way out of a Brexit stalemate. MKTS/GLOB
The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX rose 1 percent to its highest level in nearly eight months, aided by gains on bourses across the continent.
Positive sentiment was supplemented by data showing retail sales in the Euro zone were stronger than expected in February, while activity in China's services sector hit a 14-month high in March. the market is in a more positive mood," said Elwin de Groot, head of macro strategy at Rabobank.
"At least for the coming months, we are going to see a pickup in growth certainly in the Euro area."
Germany's DAX .GDAXI rose for a fifth straight session. The trade-sensitive index added 1.7 percent on Wednesday in its best performance in more than half a month.
London's FTSE 100 .FTSE rose 0.4 percent, but did not match advances seen on most European bourses as a firmer pound GBP= capped gains. The profits of a significant number of the benchmark's firms are dented by a stronger pound due to the companies' reliance on overseas earnings. .L GBP/
The positive sentiment crossed the Irish Sea, with Dublin-traded stocks .ISEQ rising 1.8 percent to their highest closing level in nearly half a year. Ireland is especially exposed to the fall-out from a hard Brexit.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would fight until the very end for an orderly Brexit and use her upcoming visit to Ireland to consider the border situation and solutions that could prevent a hard Brexit. of European chemical firms .SX4P gained about 2.1 percent, while financials services stocks .SXFP added 1.9 percent largely on gains made by London-traded stocks.
Construction and materials stocks .SXOP also basked in the glow of a potentially softer Brexit, tacking on 1.8 percent.
CRH PLC CRH.I led the sector's gains with a 3.5 percent rise. The Irish stock also benefited from Berenberg starting coverage with a "Buy" rating and a price target of 33 euros. chipmakers Ams AMS.S , Siltronic WAFGn.DE and Infineon Technologies IFXGn.DE each rose at least 4.1 percent, gaining along witht their U.S. peers, bolstered by optimism over U.S.-China trade talks. stocks .SXDP limited the broader benchmark's gains as they dropped 0.4 percent. Danish bioscience firm Chr Hansen Holding A/S CHRH.CO fell 6.8 percent to lead losses on the sector index after its second quarter results failed to impress investors. resources stocks .SXPP ended at their highest closing level in more than eight and a half months, gaining for a seventh straight session.
Stocks of auto firms and parts suppliers .SXAP rose 1.4 percent, making for a fourth straight winning session.
Among individual stocks, Germany's Prosiebensat 1 Media PSMGn.DE climbed 5.6 percent, with the chairman of Mediaset MS.MI saying the Italian broadcaster was still studying a possible cross-border deal. ended the day up 3.1 percent.
Luxury goods maker Burberry Group BRBY.L slid 2 percent after JP Morgan analysts cut their full-year profit forecast, citing high exposure to Brexit-related sterling volatility.
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