Europe stocks close higher amid US bank earnings; Nokia falls 4% on Goldman downgrade

  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closes up more than 0.1%, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory.
  • Market focus is largely attuned to corporate earnings, with several companies set to release their first-quarter results this week.
  • Elsewhere, investors continue to monitor developments in U.S.-China trade talks.

European stocks closed slightly higher on Monday as investors monitored corporate earnings and developments in U.S.-China trade talks.

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The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed provisionally up more than 0.1%, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

Looking at individual stocks, Norsk Hydro shares rose by over 3% after the Norwegian aluminum maker and Brazil's public prosecutor asked a federal court to lift a production embargo in the country. Hydro's Alunorte alumina refinery has been operating at half capacity since a spill last year that led authorities to restrict output.

Meanwhile, French advertising group Publicis' shares rose after news of a $4.4 billion takeover of marketing and data company Epsilon. The firm also released first-quarter results, reporting a rise in revenue and confirming its outlook for 2019. The stock was up 1.5%.

On the other end, Nokia dropped almost 4% following a downgrade from Goldman Sachs. Analysts at the bank said the Finnish telecommunications firm was faces downside risks amid increasing competition from Ericsson and Samsung.

Earnings, trade talks

On Wall Street, stocks opened little changed with traders focused on corporate earnings. Goldman Sachs and Citi both posted a mixed bag of earnings on Monday, dampening investor sentiment.

European bank shares initially got a boost amid anticipation of the early quarterly results, but later pared gains.

Elsewhere, investors continue to monitor developments in U.S.-China trade talks. Over the weekend, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he was hopeful the talks would soon come to a close.

He said Saturday that a U.S.-China trade deal would go "way beyond" previous agreements between the two nations, and that the two sides were "close to the final round" of negotiations, Reuters reported.