Europe Markets

Europe closes sharply higher; Glencore jumps 17%

Europe closes sharply higher; Glencore jumps 17%

European stocks accelerated gains into the close on Monday, after a weak U.S. employment report dampened expectations that the Federal Reserve would start raising interest rates soon.

The pan-European STOXX 600 closed up around 2.8 percent, slightly building on gains after U.S. markets opened higher.

London's FTSE 100 index and the German DAX both closed provisionally 2.6 percent higher, while the French CAC saw a pop of around 3.3 percent.

The latest official jobs data from the U.S. were the focus for global markets on Monday. September's report, out on Friday, showed the U.S. economy created 142,000 jobs, far below the expected 203,000. Unemployment held at 5.1 percent, while the participation rate plunged to 62.4 percent.

Many investors now expect the Fed to hold rates at record lows for the rest of this year, even though several officials have said in recent weeks that a hike could be appropriate before 2015 is out.

"After a couple of weeks spent focusing on the bad news reasoning for the Fed holding fire in September (emerging markets slowdown, market volatility, commodity price rout, etc), the prospect of looser monetary policy lingering for longer is dominating and benefiting risk appetite once again," Accendo Markets said in a research note.

How should you invest if the Fed raises rates?

Glencore shares surged to close well over 16 percent higher on the London Stock Exchange on Monday, having gained as much as 72 percent in Hong Kong overnight. This came on reports that the embattled mining giant was in talks with a few parties, including Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, to sell a stake in its agricultural business. This would likely be with the aim of cutting its debt load.

Glencore however said "it is not aware of any reasons for these price and volume movements", in a statement on Monday morning.

In general, basic resources companies performed well on Monday. Lonmin shares leaped over 20 percent into the close, while Arcelormittal closed well over 8 percent higher after Citigroup raised its outlook on the stock the "buy" from "sell."

Only a cluster of European stocks closed in the red on Monday. The worst performer on the STOXX 600 was German agricultural chemical company K+S, whose shares closed nearly 25 percent lower after Canada's Potash Corp withdrew its 7.9 billion ($8.9 billion) bid.

Underperformers also included French airline Air France-KLM, which closed 0.7 percent higher. The carrier is expected to cut around 2,900 jobs and a meeting discuss the matter was stormed by angry staff on Monday.

Euro zone, UK PMIs weak

The expansion in euro zone business activity slowed last month, according to closely watched surveys. Markit's final composite purchasing managers' index (PMI) for September came in at 53.6, below August's figure of 54.3. Still, it was above the 50 mark which separates contraction from expansion.

In separate data, euro zone August retail sales were flat month-on-month, but rose 2.3 percent year-on-year, according to Eurostat.

The U.K.'s composite PMI hit 53.9 in September, its lowest since April 2013, raising concerns about the country's recovery path.

In continental Europe, Portugal's center-right government was re-elected on Sunday but failed to win a majority, raising the prospect of political uncertainty.