European equity benchmarks were extending gains on Monday as merger and acquisition news in Germany lifted sentiment and a closely-watched survey showed that forecasts for employment growth within the Eurozone's largest economy were at record levels.
Private sector businesses in Germany are forecasting steep rises in both output and employment over the next 12 months, with the level of confidence shown towards future job creation at a post-global financial crisis high, according to the latest IHS Markit Business Outlook survey.
In equities, steel-making company Evraz (EVR.L) was leading the gainers on London's FTSE 100 Index, 2.0% higher, low-cost airline easyJet (EZJ.L) was up by 1.9%, department store operator Marks & Spencer Group (MKS.L) was 1.6% higher and education company Pearson (PSON.L) was up by 1.2%.
On Frankfurt's DAX, energy companies RWE (RWE.DE) and E.ON (EOAN.DE) were 9.0% and 5.0% higher, respectively, after E.ON said on Sunday that it had reached an agreement in principle with RWE to acquire RWE's 76.8% stake in innogy SE via an exchange of assets and participations.
Automobile manufacturer Volkswagen (VOW.DE) was up by 1.2% and chemical company Linde (LIN.DE) was 1.1% higher. And, on Paris' CAC-40, water management company Veolia Environnment (VIE.PA) was 1.3% higher, Engie (ENGI.PA), an electric utility, was up by 1.0% and drinks maker Pernod Ricard (RI.PA) was also 1.0% higher.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 Index was 0.35% higher, London's FTSE 100 Index was up by 0.02%, Frankfurt's DAX was 0.65% higher and Paris' CAC-40 was up by 0.25% at the time of writing.
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