European shares rally; UK shares transfer larger after delayed open

European markets were sharply higher Friday morning, as investors tentatively returned to riskier assets after a turbulent week.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up more than 1% during mid-morning deals, with all sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

A technical glitch prevented Britain’s FTSE 100 from opening for almost two hours on Friday, but the index eventually opened over 0.8% higher.

The U.K.’s blue-chip index had hit a six-month low in the previous session, as an escalating trade war between the United States and China and growing concerns about the world economy saw global stocks in sell-off mode.

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

Europe’s utilities sector and banking index led the gains shortly after the opening bell, both trading more than 1.4% higher.

Looking at individual stocks, Switzerland’s Sunrise Communications was one of the European benchmark’s top performers. It comes after Freenet said it would vote against a proposed capital increase by the Zurich-based firm to fund a takeover bid for UPC. Shares of Sunrise rose around 3%.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands’ IMCD tumbled to the bottom of the index after reporting first-half earnings on Friday. Shares slumped more than 13% after the firm’s CEO warned of uncertain and volatile market conditions.

Recession fears

Investors will also be watching for developments in the U.S.-China trade war. U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that trade negotiators were holding “productive” talks, adding that he expected a meeting to be held in September, Reuters reported.

However, Beijing said on Thursday that it would retaliate to the latest round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

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