By Susan Mathew
(Reuters) - European shares rose on Thursday as signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and hopes of a Brexit deal helped investors look past weak economic data and negative corporate updates.
Trade-sensitive commodity-linked stocks <.SXPP> and autos <.SXAP> led the charge, surging more than 2% each, while upscale retailers also rallied and banks <.SX7P> posted their best day in a month.
Investors took heart after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted he would meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Friday for further trade talks, confirming the Chinese delegation would not be cutting the two-day negotiations short.
"The gulf between the two sides is wide, but a willingness to sit down and negotiate has injected some hope into the markets," said David Madden, a market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
The pan-regional STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> closed up 0.7%. Louis Vuitton owner LVMH's
The latest trade comments fueled optimism that had been dulled after China urged the United States to stop unreasonable pressure on Chinese companies. The South China Morning Post also reported that the two sides made no progress in deputy-level trade talks earlier in the week.
Without significant progress, the next round of U.S. tariff hikes on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods will take effect on Oct. 15.
Frankfurt's export reliant DAX <.GDAXI> rose 0.6%, reversing losses posted after data showed a steeper-than-expected fall in Germany's August exports.
London's FTSE 100 <.FTSE> climbed 0.3%, despite a rallying pound
There was a clear move out of defensives with utilities <.SX6P> and food and beverages <.SX3P> both losing around 0.4%, while a batch of bad news for healthcare companies hurt the healthcare index <.SXDP>.
Danish biosciences company Chr. Hansen
Health technology company Philips
(Reporting by Medha Singh and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and Kirsten Donovan)