Europe’s major markets struggled for gains on Thursday, as investors weighed up fresh data showing weakness in the single-zone economy and enthusiasm faded over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s indication that it may be finished with rate increases for now. All major European stocks were in the red by Thursday afternoon, with the Stoxx Europe 600 down 0.3% to 357.28. Germany’s DAX 30 fell 0.7% to 11,104.74, while the FTSE 100 bucked a weaker trend, rising 0.5% to 6,973.01, France’s CAC 40 was flat at 4,970.67 and Italy’s FTSE MIB Italy index dropped 0.8% to 19,609.86.

U.S. stocks ended mostly higher Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve struck a surprisingly dovish tone on monetary policy. The S&P 500 rose 0.9% to end around 2,705. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell less than 0.1%, to 25,002. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.4% to end near 7,282.

Maltese stocks were mostly in red, with MSE Equity Total Return Index ending the session 0.02% lower, to 8,836.856 points. Biggest gainers were Malita Investment plc and Malta Properties Company plc, adding 2.22% and 0.96% to close at 0.92 and 0.525 respectively. Biggest fall were seen from Mapfre Middlesea plc which closed 1.54% lower, to 1.92. MaltaPost plc and Bank of Valletta both shed 0.78% to close at 1.27.

Trump is optimistic on the Trade Deal with China

President Trump expressed optimism Thursday about reaching a landmark trade deal with China, but said in an interview that he would consider leaving in place some tariffs on Chinese goods even if the two sides strike an agreement.

As he hosted the Chinese delegation in the Oval Office yesterday, Mr. Trump said he would meet next month with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping. He suggested that Mr. Xi was prepared to make significant changes to Beijing’s economic policies, including opening its market to American companies and buying more products.

While Mr. Trump promoted China’s commitment to buy more American goods, he said any agreement he made with Mr. Xi must go far beyond that and include an unprecedented opening of its markets to American businesses. He said a final deal would probably be sealed in person during a meeting next month with Mr. Xi at a location that has not been determined.

The world’s two largest economies have been locked in a long standoff that has begun to slow global economic growth and rattled financial markets. Both countries are under increasing pressure to reach an accord: American companies with exposure to China have begun warning that the trade war is hurting profits, and the Chinese economy is growing at its slowest pace in years.