By Reuters

European shares opened higher on Wednesday, bolstered by China’s move to exempt some US goods from additional tariffs, the latest sign that a prolonged trade war between the two sides is cooling.

european - European shares rise on signs of thaw in US-China trade war

A trader sits in front of the computer screens at his desk at the Frankfurt stock exchange, Germany, June 29, 2015. (REUTERS / Ralph Orlowski / File Photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

Trade-sensitive German shares .GDAXI led gains, with traders continuing to rotate into battered stocks such as autos and banks from defensive sectors. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.3% at 0708 GMT.

China’s finance ministry said on Wednesday 16 types of U.S. goods would be exempted by additional retaliatory tariffs from Sept. 17, further buoying investor sentiment.

All eyes are now on the European Central Bank’s monetary policy meeting on Thursday, where it is widely expected to cut interest rates and restart an asset purchase program. However, analysts have warned that market expectations on the extent of the stimulus could be too high.

Debt-laden French retailer Casino (CASP.PA) was the top gainer on STOXX 600, up 4.4%, on a report that rival Carrefour (CARR.PA) is weighing a possible bid potentially through an all-share deal.

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