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European stocks open sharply higher, eyes on E.Z. data; Dax jumps 1.67%


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Investing.com - European stocks opened sharply higher on Monday, tracking their Asian counterparts as a rebound in oil prices boosted market sentiment and as investors awaited the release of euro zone manufacturing and service sector data later in the day.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 rallied 1.86%, France's CAC 40 advanced 1.40%, while Germany's DAX 30 jumped 1.67%.

Oil prices rose back above $32 a barrel on Monday. However, gains were expected to remain limited as concerns over a global supply glut persisted.

Also Monday, Markit research group said its flash German manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 50.2 in February from 52.3 the previous month, compared to expectations for a downtick to 52.0.

Germany's flash services PMI rose to 55.1 this month from 55.0 in January, beating expectations for a reading of 54.7.

In France, the flash manufacturing PMI rose to 50.3 in February from 50.0 in January, beating expectations for a fall to 49.9.

France's flash services PMI ticked down to 49.8 this month from 50.3 in January, compared to expectations for an unchanged reading.

Financial stocks were broadly higher, as BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) rallied 1.91% and 2.14%, while Germany's Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) and Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) surged 2.51% and 3.15%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Unicredit (MI:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) jumped 2.19% and 2.68% respectively, while Spanish banks BBVA (MC:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MC:SAN) advanced 0.99% and 1.49%.

In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 jumped 1.20%, boosted by sharp gains in the mining sector.

Shares in Bhp Billiton (L:BLT) and Anglo American (L:AAL) rallied 3.70% and 4.35% respectively, while Rio Tinto (L:RIO) climbed 5.22% and Glencore (L:GLEN) soared 5.24%.

In the financial sector, stocks were mixed. Barclays (L:BARC) and Lloyds Banking (L:LLOY) rallied 1.21% and 1.23%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland (L:RBS) dipped 0.01% and HSBC Holdings (L:HSBA) plummeted 4.68%.

Earlier Monday, HSBC Holdings announced a 1% increase in pre-tax profit for 2015.

Meanwhile, Bovis Homes (L:BVS) gained 0.47% after the housebuilding company reported a 20% increase in full-year pre-tax profit to £160.1 million.

Also in the U.K., investors continued to focus on discussions over a posssible British exit from the European Union, with a referendum now set to be held in June.

On Sunday, London Mayor Boris Johnson announced that he was supporting the "leave" campaign, dealing a blow to Prime Minister David Cameron's "stronger together" campaign.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a sharply higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 1.01% jump, S&P 500 futures a 0.98% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 1.13% rally.

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