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MarketPulse Europe: China More Important Than Brexit as Stocks Head Higher

Investing.com -- Stocks in Europe were mostly higher after early trading on Wednesday, as two positive items of China-related news

Investing.com -- Stocks in Europe were mostly higher after early trading on Wednesday, as two positive items of China-related news outweighed a fresh bout of nerves over Brexit.

The morning’s mood was set by two quarterly reports – from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and from French luxury goods group LVMH (PA:LVMH)- that came after the European close on Tuesday and reassured traders that demand from China is still holding up nicely.

LVMH said revenue hit a record high in 2018, finishing the year with a 9% year-on-year rise in the fourth quarter. Chief Financial Officer Jean-Jacques Guiony told the Wall Street Journal that spending by Chinese customers either in China or on trips abroad grew by double digits for most of its major brands in the quarter, and that there had been no visible slowdown at the end of the year. LVMH shares were up 6.9% by 04.55 AM ET (09.55 GMT), and the results also pulled rivals Hermes (PA:HRMS) and Kering (PA:PRTP) up to the top of the French CAC 40 index. The U.K.'s Burberry (LON:BRBY) also rose in sympathy.

U.K. stocks posted mixed reactions to the votes in parliament last night that reaffirmed a ‘no-deal’ Brexit as the default option for March 29 and rejected the chance to call for an extension of a deadline that’s now less than two months away.

The British pound lost nearly 1% against the dollar and euro on the votes but had recovered much of those losses by mid-morning. At 04:55 AM ET, the GBPUSD was at $1.3117, up over half a cent from its overnight lows. As usual, the FTSE 100’s big tobacco and resource companies, which book most of their revenues in dollars, led the index, while domestic-focused companies lagged.