Investing.com - European stocks were mostly higher on Monday, as expectations for further easing measures by the European Central Bank continued to support ahead of the central bank's monthly policy meeting later in the week.
During European morning trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 edged up 0.10%, France's CAC 40 dipped 0.06%, while Germany's DAX added 0.27%.
Data on Friday showing that the annual rate of inflation in Italy and Spain slowed in May added to expectations that the ECB will take steps to tackle low consumer price growth, which is threatening the fragile recovery in the euro zone.
Last week, ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank was aware of the risks of persistently low inflation and was prepared to take steps to get euro zone inflation back to its target, the latest indication that the bank is on course to ease monetary policy next week.
Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lender Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) added 0.13%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) and Commerzbank (XETRA:CBKG) gained 0.29% and 0.52%.
BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) underperformed however, plummeting 1.69%, still pressured by news U.S. authorities are seeking more than $10 billion from the bank to settle investigations into dealings with sanctioned countries.
Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) added 0.12% and 0.61% respectively, while Spain's BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) rose 0.23%.
Elsewhere, Det norske oljeselskap (OSLO:DETNOR) surged 5.86% after the oil exploration and development group agreed to buy Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO)'s Norwegian business for $2.7 billion.
Air France-KLM (PARIS:AIRF) added to gains, up 2.50%, following reports the airline company will start a €1 billion cost-cutting program in 2015.
In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 rose 0.19%, supported by sharp gains in the mining sector.
Shares in Glencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) jumped 1.35% and Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) advanced 1.47%, while Randgold Resources (LONDON:RRS) climbed 0.85% and Bhp Billiton (LONDON:BLT) rallied 1.02%.
Barratt Developments (LONDON:BDEV) was also on the upside, with shares gaining 1.72%, after the stock had its "buy" rating restated by Deutsche Bank last week.
In the financial sector, stocks were mostly higher. HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) added 0.11% and Barclays (LONDON:BARC) inched 0.02% higher, while Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) eased up 0.04%. The Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) underperformed, down 0.49%.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow 30futures pointed to a 0.09% rise, S&P 500futures signaled a 0.05% gain, while the Nasdaq 100futures indicated a 0.02% uptick.
Later in the day, the Institute of Supply Management was to publish a report on U.S. manufacturing activity.
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