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European Stocks to Open Higher; Ireland Watched

European shares are set to edge higher on Monday, tracking Friday's gains on Wall Street as investors optimistically await euro zone services and manufacturing PMI data for signs the region is continuing to expand.

A trader sits in front of a board displaying Germany's share index DAX at the stock exchange in Frankfurt/Munich, western Germany.
Martin Oeser | AFP | Getty Images
A trader sits in front of a board displaying Germany's share index DAX at the stock exchange in Frankfurt/Munich, western Germany.

Ireland's Green Party quit the coalition Sunday, putting more pressure on the government to call early elections, a development closely watched by markets.

European shares rose on Friday as Spain's plans to part nationalise its debt-laden savings banks boosted banking stocks, while forecast beating results from U.S. bellwether General Electric also improved market sentiment.

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Germany's influential Ifo business climate index on Friday showed German business confidence was up for the eighth straight month, boosting investor sentiment.

On Monday, investors will turn their attention to euro zone industrial orders for November, as well as an early estimate of the Purchasing Managers' Index for the euro zone in January.

The monthly questionnaire surveys of selected companies will provide an indication of private sector economic activity in the euro zone, as it struggles to deal with sovereign debt and high deficits.

Spain, which has come under pressure and has seen yields rising as investors fret over its budget deficit, is planning to force its regional savings banks to become conventional banks and seek stock market listings, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

The state-backed bank restructuring fund (FROB) would then take stakes in the banks which fail to attract private investment, the source said.

The debt-laden savings banks and a possibly expensive rescue are seen as major risks for Spain's government.

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