Semiconductors, China stimulus hopes push European shares higher

FILE PHOTO – The German share price index, DAX board, is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 21, 2018. /Tilman Blasshofer() – European shares churned higher on Friday, boosted by positive sentiment after China hinted on plans to spur economic growth while chipmaker stocks in the region propped up markets, helped by solid earnings news from U.S. counterparts. But overall gains were not baked in as the London Stock Exchange (LSE.L) said on Friday it was investigating a technical glitch, which delayed the open of the UK blue-chip FTSE 100 .FTSE and FTSE midcap .FTMC indexes. China’s state planner said it will roll out a plan to boost disposable income this year and in 2020 to encourage consumption as the economy slows. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was 0.7% higher by 0742 GMT, with the trade-sensitive DAX index .GDAXI outperforming. The benchmark index was still on pace to log a third straight week of losses, as mounting worries of a global recession sparked in part by the long-drawn U.S.-China trade war, kept investors on the edge. Leading the charge on the STOXX 600 was a rally in semiconductor companies, which pushed the technology sector .SX8P up 1.2% – with AMS (AMS.S), Infineon Tech (IFXGn.DE) and STMicroelectronics (STM.MI) making substantial gains. Better-than-expected results from gaming chip maker Nvidia (NVDA.O) and chip gear maker Applied Materials (AMAT.O) overnight helped reinforce the rally. Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard OrrOur Standards:The Thomson Trust Principles.