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Europe shares hit a record high thanks to plans to cut China’s fees and strong bank results

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Eurozone banks led European shares to new highs on Thursday amid a widespread rally in global stocks after a Chinese move to halve additional fees on some US goods by half.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index extended its gains for the fourth session and closed 0.4 percent higher at 425.49 points – a new high level – but retreated slightly from the level of 426.70 it reached earlier in the session as major energy companies were affected by a drop in oil prices.

Beijing said it would cut additional fees imposed last year on 1717 US products, weeks after the signing of the Phase 1 trade agreement that laid down a truce in the drastic trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

The indices of the core sectors and technology sensitive to trade rose about 0.7 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

The Beijing decision also raised some optimism about mitigating the economic shock caused by the outbreak of a coronavirus, which has killed more than 500 people and caused major disruptions to the Chinese economy.

Shares of UniCredit, DNP and Nordia banks rose more than 6 percent after announcing strong quarterly results. Deutsche Bank shares performed best daily in more than eight years after it revealed that a new shareholder, Los Angeles-based Capital Group, had bought a 3.1 percent stake.

All of this led the Eurozone Banks Index to post its best daily gain in a month. The Italian stock exchange index, which is rich in banking stocks, jumped one percent to close at its highest level in nearly two years, with Fiat Chrysler rising 0.8 percent, also contributing to the gains.

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