Trader Michael Milano works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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European shares closed slightly higher Monday as soothing comments from Washington and Beijing about trade frictions between the world's top two economies provided some comfort for investors as a bruising year in equity markets drew to a close.Market mood brightened slightly after U.S. President Donald Trump said he held a "very good call" with China's President Xi Jinping Saturday to discuss trade and claimed "big progress" was being made.Highlighting potential headaches for investors in 2019, data Monday showed China's factory activity contracted for the first time in over two years in December, as the world's second-largest economy lost further momentum.Valeo topped France's CAC 40, rising 3.9 percent, Michelin was up 2.5 percent and Peugeot gained 2.1 percent.
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