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European markets trade higher as U.S. and Europe trade tensions ease

European markets traded higher as concerns over rising trade tensions between the U.S. and Europe showed signs of easing

European markets traded higher Thursday morning, as concerns over rising trade tensions between the U.S. and Europe showed signs of easing.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.5 percent higher with almost every sector in positive territory. The German DAX was the best performing market, up by 1.32 percent. While autos and basic resources were the top leading sectors in early trade. This followed news that President Trump agreed to put tariffs on Europe aside while both sides of the Atlantic work to reduce their trade differences.

On Wednesday, Trump announced that the U.S. and the European Union had initiated a "new phase" within their relationship. Trump said at a press conference with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that they agreed today to work together towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies for the non-auto industrial goods.

Furthermore, market sentiment was also impacted by earnings and corporate news. Elis rose to the top of the European benchmark, up by 10 percent, after announcing the acquisition of Kings Laundry.

Airbus rose nearly 6 percent in early trade after reporting that its second-quarter profit more than doubled. CEO Tom Enders said that he was not seeking a merger of the combat jet activities with BAE Systems.

Nokia dropped 8 percent after its second-quarter earnings missed forecasts. Nonetheless, the company expects that 5G will boost the second half of the year.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank is set to hold its latest monetary policy meeting on Thursday. The central bank is expected to hold steady on its policy and rate decisions at this month's meeting, as trade and the euro zone's economy takes center stage. However, markets will be waiting to hear details on how the bank will reinvest the cash from expiring bonds. ECB’s rate decision is the only major economic data due for the Eurozone.