Europe stocks close higher; Philips and SAP soar
European shares closed near five-year highs on Monday, helped by gains from Philips and SAP, as well as encouraging U.S. housing data.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index provisionally closed 0.2 percent higher at 1,280.66 points, following better-than-expected housing data from the U.S. Existing home sales for September fell 1.9 percent to an annual rate of 5.29 million units, while prices rose at their slowest pace in nearly five months, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected a steeper home re-sales fall of 2.9 percent.
U.S. stocks remained narrowly mixed on Monday, after the S&P 500 hit a fresh record, and investors looked ahead to a slew of economic data and earnings reports.The rest of this week will bring a deluge of U.S. data following delays due to the partial government shutdown, with the closely-watched non-farm payrolls report slated for Tuesday. Analysts say that given the impact of the shutdown, the U.S. Federal Reserve will likely delay any reduction in its bond-buying program.
(Read More: Buckle up: Here come the economic data)
On the European data front, producer prices for Germany came in better-than-expected with a 0.3 percent rise on the month and a decrease of 0.5 percent for the year, against expectations for a dip of 0.7 percent.
Italian industrial production orders Italy were also released, showing a climb of 2 percent for the month of August on a seasonally adjusted basis. For the year, industrial orders showed a fall of 6.8 percent.
In earnings news, Dutch paints and chemicals company Akzo Nobel closed higher by 6.76 percent after earnings met market expectations. Dutch shares also received a boost from electronics and healthcare firm Philips, which reported higher-than-expected third-quarter earnings. Its shares provisionally closed higher by 5.47 percent.
(Read More: Philips CEO: 'Obamacare' is a temporary distraction)
Shares of software solutions firm SAP bounced after reporting that quarterly net profit jumped 23 percent; shares closed up 5.05 percent.
(Read More: SAP: Exchange rate effects could hit fourth quarter)
In other stocks news, shares of contractor G4S closed up 3.50 percent after Bloomberg reported that private equity firm Charterhouse Capital were looking at a £1 billion ($1.6 billion) buyout of its cash-solutions business.
Shares of French energy firm EDF closed 0.14 percent lower after confirming on Monday that it had signed an agreement with the U.K, government to build two nuclear reactors, for a total cost of 16 billion pounds ($25.9 billion).
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