(RTTNews.com) - The European markets ended the first session of the new trading week with modest gains. The prospect of some activity on the M&A front and the continued easing of political tensions in Italy and Spain put investors in an upbeat mood Monday.
The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.31 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks increased 0.46 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, added 0.15 percent.
The DAX of Germany climbed 0.37 percent and the CAC of France rose 0.14 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. gained 0.51 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished higher by 0.18 percent.
In Paris, Accor sank 6.95 percent after it confirmed an interest in buying a minority stake in Air France-KLM. Shares of the latter jumped 5.47 percent.
In London, DS Smith rallied 2.99 percent after it announced the proposed acquisition of Papeles y Cartones de Europa, S.A., known as Europac, a Western European integrated packaging business.
Lender CYBG gained 2.19 percent after it launched a revised offer to buy challenger bank Virgin Money.
Richemont gained 0.77 percent in Zurich. The luxury goods group said that it has completed the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Lancel, a French luxury leather goods company, to Piquadro S.p.A., an Italian leather goods group.
Novartis finished unchanged after announcing positive results from the third Phase III trial of Kisqali.
UniCredit decreased 0.83 percent in Milan. According to the Financial Times, the bank is considering a merger with France's Societe Generale. Shares of the latter jumped 0.73 percent.
Eurozone investor sentiment deteriorated sharply in June largely reflecting political uncertainties in Italy, survey data from think tank Sentix showed Monday. The investor confidence index slid to 9.3 in June from 19.2 in May. This was the lowest score since October 2016 and below the expected level of 19.0.
Eurozone producer prices climbed at a slightly slower pace in April, Eurostat reported Monday. Producer price inflation came in at 2 percent in April versus 2.1 percent in March. Prices were forecast to increase 2.4 percent.
UK construction activity logged a moderate growth in May with the pace of expansion matching that seen in April, survey data from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply showed Monday.
The construction Purchasing Managers' Index held steady at 52.5 in May. A score above 50 indicates expansion. Economists had forecast the index to drop to 51.8.
After reporting a sharp increase in new orders for U.S. manufactured goods in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report on Monday showing factory orders pulled back by more than expected in the month of April.
The Commerce Department said factory orders fell by 0.8 percent in April after spiking by an upwardly revised 1.7 percent in March. Economists had expected factory orders to drop by 0.5 percent compared to the 1.6 percent jump originally reported for the previous month.
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