Investing.com - European stocks opened higher on Monday, as growing expectations for an upcoming rate hike by the Federal Reserve lent support to equity markets.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 climbed 0.52%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.33%, while Germany's DAX 30 gained 0.49%.
Equities strengthened after the U.S. Department of Labor reported on Friday that average hourly earnings rose 0.5% last month and were up 2.5% on a year-over-year basis.
The pick-up in wage growth bolstered the outlook for inflation and increased the likelihood that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates this year.
The report also showed that the economy created 151,000 jobs last month, the lowest number since September and less than the 190,000 forecast by economists'.
Despite the slowdown in jobs growth the unemployment rate fell to 4.9%, the lowest level since February 2008.
Financial stocks were mixed, with French lenders Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) added 0.06% and BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) slipped 0.14%, while Germany's Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) declined 0.37% and Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) edged up 0.18%.
Among peripheral lenders however, Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) and Unicredit (MI:CRDI) surged 1.86% and 2.82% respectively, while Spanish banks Banco Santander (MC:SAN) and BBVA (MC:BBVA) advanced 0.37% and 0.68%.
Elsewhere, ASSA ABLOY AB ser. B (ST:ASSAb) saw shares tumble 1.58% after the Swedish lockmaker posted fourth-quarter profit in line with analysts' estimates.
In London,commodity-heavy FTSE 100 rose 0.32%, boosted by sharp gains in the mining sector.
Shares in Anglo American (L:AAL) and Rio Tinto (L:RIO) rallied 2.01% and 2.17% respectively, while Randgold Resources (L:RRS) and Glencore (L:GLEN) surged 3.40% and 3.43%.
Earlier Monday, Randgold Resources reported a fall in fourth quarter net profit, but it raised its dividend.
In the financial sector, stocks were also mostly higher. The Royal Bank of Scotland (L:RBS) climbed 0.94% and Lloyds Banking (L:LLOY) jumped 1.01%, while Barclays (L:BARC) rallied 1.16%. HSBC Holdings (L:HSBA) underperformed however, with shares sliding 0.35%.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.38% gain, S&P 500 futures a 0.43% increase, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.52% climb.
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