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European markets open higher ahead of US-China trade talks

European markets open higher ahead of US-China trade talks

European stocks opened higher Monday morning, with market participants looking ahead to a fresh round of U.S.-China trade talks this week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up around 0.5 percent shortly after the opening bell, with all sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments, with a delegation of U.S. officials set to travel to China for the next round of negotiations this week.

The latest set of trade talks will take place in Beijing from Monday. It comes after discussions in Washington last week concluded without a deal.

Both sides are trying to secure a comprehensive trade agreement ahead of a March 1 deadline when U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

Escalating tensions between the world’s two largest economies have cost both countries billions of dollars and roiled global financial markets.

In Asia, Chinese shares whipsawed on Monday after they resumed trading following a week-long Lunar New Year holiday. The blue-chip index rose 0.4 percent, though trading volumes were still expected to be light with Japan on a public holiday.

MSCI’s broadest-index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, was around 0.1 percent lower.

Back in Europe, investors are likely to monitor a preliminary quarter-on-quarter estimate of U.K. GDP growth rate data at around 9:30 a.m. London time. The U.K. is also expected to release annualized GDP data for December as well as the latest industrial production figures and trade balance data.