The pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> was up 0.2 percent by 0844 GMT, with German, French and Spanish bourses rising more than 0.4 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 <.FTSE> was outperforming its euro zone peers as the pound fell 0.3 percent.
Sentiment was boosted after China delivered a written response to U.S. demands for wide-ranging trade reforms ahead of an expected meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his counterpart Donald Trump later this month.
Basic materials stocks <.SXPP>, some of the main beneficiaries of easing tensions between the world’s two largest economies, led the pack with a 1.1 percent rise, also buoyed by higher copper and industrial metals prices and a weaker U.S. dollar.
British asset manager Intermediate Capital Group jumped 9.4 percent to the top of the STOXX and London’s FTSE midcap index after reporting record net inflows.
French conglomerate Bouygues rose 3.4 percent after delivering better-than-expected nine-month profits.
Autos <.SXAP> hit the skids, down 1.4 percent after the Chinese government doused hopes that Beijing was preparing to cut auto purchases taxes in a bid to shore up demand and boost the world’s second-largest economy.
Daimler was at the bottom of the DAX, also knocked by a Citi downgrade.