* After lower open, stocks trade in the black
* FTSE boosted by a weaker pound, miners
* Finland’s Tikkurila soars after PPG offer
(Adds comment, updates prices)
By Sruthi Shankar and Amal S
Dec 18 (Reuters) – European shares reversed early losses to trade higher on Friday following a surprise rise in German business morale as the region gets ready for the mass rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.2%, extending its four-day rally, but gains were kept in check by new fears of a messy finale to Brexit talks.
The German DAX got a boost after Ifo institute’s upbeat business morale data even as Europe’s biggest economy went into a strict lockdown to contain a second wave of coronavirus infections. exporter-heavy index gained 0.5%, helped by a weaker pound after Britain and European Union negotiators warned that they remained far apart on a number of issues and that it was becoming more likely they would fail to reach an agreement. .L
“We think this division between the UK and the European Union should be resolved, but nevertheless, the market will trade on headlines and I think that’s what’s driving the market today,” said Andrea Cicione, head of strategy at TS Lombard.
Generally, the market is winding down for the end of the year, and some risk is being taken off the table, Cicione said.
Fresh record highs for Wall Street lifted the global mood this week as investors hoped for more U.S. fiscal aid, while European Union tried to secure more vaccine supplies to tackle a pandemic that picked up pace in winter. STOXX 600, hovering near a 10-month high, was on course to end the week with a 2% gain.
Miners were among the top boosts, with shares in Rio Tinto , BHP Group and Anglo American rising between 0.5% and 2.1% on stronger metal prices. MET/L
Travel & leisure stocks slipped, with British Airways-owner IAG down 1% after a media report that it had agreed to buy Spanish carrier Air Europa for 500 million euros ($612.55 million). M&A moves, Dutch health technology firm Philips rose 2.9% after it agreed to buy U.S. cardiac diagnostics and monitoring firm BioTelemetry in a deal worth $2.8 billion. paint producer Tikkurila soared more than 60% after U.S. firm PPG Industries PPG.N made an offer to buy the company for a total of 1.1 billion euros ($1.35 billion).