Investing.com - European stocks remained broadly 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 afternoon trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 gained 0.23%, France's CAC 40 inched up 0.05%, while Germany's DAX added 0.21%.
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 turned mixed, as Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) dipped 0.07% and BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) plummeted 1.47% in France, while Deutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) slid 0.34% and Commerzbank (XETRA:CBKG) climbed 0.47% in Germany.
BNP Paribas was 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) gained 0.41% and 0.66% respectively, while BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) rose 0.21% and Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) eased 0.03% in Spain.
Elsewhere, Det norske oljeselskap (OSLO:DETNOR) surged 6.58% 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 1.92%, following reports the airline company will start a €1 billion cost-cutting program in 2015.
In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 rose 0.30%, still supported by sharp gains in the mining sector.
Shares in Glencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) jumped 1.46% and Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) advanced 1.64%, while Randgold Resources (LONDON:RRS) and Bhp Billiton (LONDON:BLT) gained 0.90% and 0.75% respectively.
Barratt Developments (LONDON:BDEV) also remained on the upside, with shares surging 2.32%, after the stock had its "buy" rating restated by Deutsche Bank last week.
In the financial sector, stocks were mixed. HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) inched up 0.05% and Barclays (LONDON:BARC) added 0.14%, while Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) retreated 0.53% and 0.61%.
Also in the U.K., Markit research group said the manufacturing purchasing managers' index ticked down to 57.0 in June, from a reading of 57.3 the previous month, in line with expectations.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow 30futures pointed to a 0.12% rise, S&P 500futures signaled a 0.06% gain, while the Nasdaq 100futures indicated a 0.01% uptick.
Earlier Monday, Markit said that Spain's manufacturing PMI rose to 52.9 this month, from 52.7 in May, in line with market expectations.
Italy's manufacturing PMI slipped to 53.2 in June, from a reading of 54.0, compared to expectations for a fall to 53.7.
Later in the day, the Institute of Supply Management was to publish a report on U.S. manufacturing activity.
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