Europe Markets

European shares close higher for fourth straight day

European equities closed higher for a fourth consecutive session on Monday, as upbeat U.S. sentiment data buoyed investors' spirits.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed provisionally higher by 0.6 percent at 1,295.48 points. The day's trade was thin, with the holiday season fast approaching.

The German DAX closed unofficially higher by 0.8 percent, near to an intraday record high of 9,471.76 points. The U.K. FTSE and the French Cac closed up 1.0 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.

U.S. stocks also climbed on Monday, with the benchmark Dow and the furthering their record advances, as Apple shares surged and data showed consumer spending rose last month.

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The U.S. Commerce Department reported that consumer spending tallied its biggest increase in five months in November, rising 0.5 percent after advancing by 0.4 percent in October.

Apple shares gained after the tech giant confirmed it had struck a long-awaited deal with to sell its smartphones in China. In Europe, Apple suppliers ARM Holdings and Dialog were boosted by the news, closing higher by around 3.9 percent and 3.4 percent respectively.

(Read More: China Mobile to carry Apple's iPhone from January)

Meanwhile, shares of Italian lender BancaMonte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS) closed roughly 4.3 percent up on speculation that the bank's major shareholder could be looking to sell its 20 percent stake.

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