By RTT News,
February 24, 2014, 11:55:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - European stocks were higher on Monday, as encouraging German business sentiment data cheered investors on both sides of the Atlantic.
With the S&P 500 setting new record highs on Wall Street, Europe's major averages all clawed back from early losses to finish in positive territory.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of euro-zone blue chip stocks rose 0.62 percent. Today's gains follow three straight weekly advances for European stocks.
The German DAX gained 0.5 percent to 9,708.94 and the UK's FTSE 100 added 0.41 percent to 6,865.86 today. The French CAC 40 rose 0.87 percent while Switzerland's SMI picked up 0.64 percent.
The Ifo German business climate index came in at 111.3 in February, the highest level since mid-2011, up from 110.6 in January. Analysts had expected an unchanged reading.
Volkswagen AG slumped 5.1 percent after the German car maker offered to buy out minority shareholders in Scania for more than $9 billion. Barclays cut VW to ''Equalweight'' from ''Overweight.'
Scania, which said it will evaluate the offer, surged 34 percent.
In London, HSBC Holdings dropped 3.4 percent after reporting full-year earnings that missed expectations.
Associated British Foods, which issued a trading update for the first half, lost 2.7 percent.
Vodafone rose 5.7 percent after talks about a bid.
Shares of Bunzl rose 6.4 percent after the firm reported a nice increase in 2013 earnings per share.
Shares of PostNL plunged 20 percent after the Dutch mail-service firm reported a full-year loss that was wider than expected.
QSC was climbing around 10 percent. JPMorgan raised the stock to ''Overweight'' from ''Neutral.''
In Paris, Deutsche Bank cut Vinci to ''Hold'' from ''Buy.'' The stock was moderately lower.
Asian stocks ended mostly lower, as weak U.S. housing data, concerns over U.S. monetary policy and reports that Chinese banks have tightened property lending rendered investor mood somewhat cautious.
In the U.S., the S&P 500 has reached a new record intraday high, while the Nasdaq has risen to its best levels in almost fourteen years.
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