Europe ends on a positive note ahead of US-China trade talks; miners rally

  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up 0.57 percent provisionally, with the majority of sectors ending in positive territory.
  • Vopak leaped to the top of the European benchmark, following the announcement of a 0.5 percent sulfur bunker deal with Maersk. Meantime, shares of Atlantia and Sage plummeted.
  • The U.S. and China are due to hold lower-level trade talks this week, with market participants hopeful they might find a way to resolve an escalating tariff war.

European stocks finished Monday's session higher, as investors awaited the outcome of trade talks between the world's two largest economies, due to take place later this week.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was closed up 0.57 percent provisionally, with the majority of sectors ending in positive territory.

On the bourses front, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.43 percent, while France's CAC 40 popped 0.65 percent and Germany's DAX jumped 1 percent. Peripheral markets also finished in the black.

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Europe's basic resources was one of the best performing sectors Monday, rising 0.85 percent amid renewed optimism of a potential breakthrough in U.S.-Sino trade negotiations later this week. The only sector to come under slight pressure was utilities, which closed just below the flatline overall.

Looking at individual stocks, Vopak leaped to the top of the European benchmark, following the announcement of a 0.5 percent sulfur bunker deal with Maersk that meets international targets aimed at capping marine sulfur. Vopak shares climbed 4.5 percent, while Maersk jumped almost 3 percent.

Software firm Sage tumbled to the bottom of the STOXX 600 by the close, shortly after Deutsche Bank downgraded its stock recommendation for the firm to "sell." Its shares slipped 7 percent lower on the news.

Atlantia shares tumbled, amid ongoing concerns over its toll motorway operator Autostrade per L'Italia's role in the Genoa bridge collapse. Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Sunday said that the government was to go ahead with withdrawing Autostrade's toll road operating concessions. The stock was the worst performing large cap in Europe during parts of Monday's session, closing the day down over 4.5 percent.

Meanwhile, shares of luxury fashion firm Mulberry tanked after it issued a profit warning over the collapse of iconic U.K. retailer House of Fraser. The stock plummeted 29.7 percent on London's AIM exchange.

Trade talks

On Wall Street, stocks rose amid corporate dealmaking activity, with major indexes closing in on record levels around Europe's close. Food and drink giant PepsiCo on Monday said it was buying Israeli firm SodaStream for $3.2 billion.

In political news, the U.S. and China are due to hold lower-level trade talks later on this week, with market participants hopeful they might find a way to resolve an escalating tariff war. The talks are reportedly set to take place in Washington, shortly before new U.S. charges on Chinese goods take effect. The meeting between trade officials has renewed speculation of a potential summit in November between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Elsewhere, investors keep a close eye on news out of Turkey. Last week, sharp declines in the lira sparked fears of contagion amid a dramatic sell-off in emerging markets' currencies and stocks. The currency has lost more than 40 percent of its value against the dollar this year.

Meantime, Monday was seen as an historic day for Greece, as the European country emerged from nearly a decade of external financial help. Its government has managed to end a third bailout rescue, putting in place all the measures that had been requested by creditors, despite earlier doubts.