Developments in Italy, UK, Hong Kong Lift European Shares

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By Investors Hub

European stocks rallied on Wednesday as investors cheered positive political developments in Italy, Britain and Hong Kong.

Italian bonds climbed for a third day after Prime Minister-designate Giuseppe Conte won backing to form a new government.

British lawmakers will now move to pass a bill that will make a no-deal Brexit illegal after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a humiliating defeat over his Brexit strategy.

Elsewhere, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has announced the formal withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill that triggered months of unrest.

On the economic front, separate reports showed eurozone business growth has improved slightly since July, while the region’s retail sales declined at the fastest pace seen so far this year in July.

Data released earlier in the day showed that activity in China’s services sector expanded at the fastest pace in three months in August.

The focus now shifts to a European Central Bank meeting next week, with investors expecting a stimulus package including a rate cut.

While the U.K.?s FTSE 100 Index has risen by 0.4 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are jumping by 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

Shares of Assa Abloy AB have climbed in Sweden after the Swedish conglomerate announced that it has acquired U.S.-based LifeSafety Power.

Defense electronics group Thales has also shown a substantial move to the upside after reporting higher first-half profits.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group has also advanced. The bank said that it expects to book an unexpected charge of 600 million to 900 million pounds ($722.9 million-$1.08 billion) in its third-quarter accounts.

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