European are mostly higher on Monday, buoyed by reports that the new Italian government is keen to focus on structural reforms and there is no likelihood of the country leaving the euro.
U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to back out from signing the communique from the G7 nations over the weekend has not triggered any selling in the market. Instead, traders are hoping the highly anticipated summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will help reduce tension in the Korean Peninsula.
Markets in the European region are also looking ahead to crucial monetary policy meetings of the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve.
In the U.K. market, economic reports released today have turned out to be disappointing. But the market has shrugged off the data and edged higher. The FTSE 100 index is up 50 points or 0.65 percent at 7,731.07, after advancing to a high of 7,755.25 earlier in the session.
British American Tobacco, Standard Chartered, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, WPP, Merlin Entertainment and Smiths Group are up with strong gains.
Among the notable losers, Ferguon is declining 4 percent and Old Mutual is down 3.2 percent.
On the economic front, data released by the Office for National Statistics showed industrial production in the UK to have decreased unexpectedly in April, falling 0.8 percent month-over-month, reversing a 0.1 percent rise in March. It was the first decline in four months.
On a yearly basis, industrial production growth eased to 1.8 percent in April from 2.9 percent a month ago. The expected growth rate was 2.7 percent.
Another report from the same bureau showed that construction output in the UK expanded 0.5 percent month-on-month in April, reversing a 2.3 percent fall in the preceding month. That was below the 2.2 percent rise economists had forecast. On a yearly basis, construction output fell at a slower pace of 3.3 percent in April, after a 4.9 percent decline in March.
After a fairly steady start, the German market has pared its early gains with the mood turning a bit subdued and traders refraining from making big moves.
The DAX index rose to 12,862.54 this morning, gaining nearly 100 points in the process, but has now eased to 12,773.50, and is up just 7.05 points or 0.05 percent from its previous close.
Infineon, Commerzbank, BASF, Deutsche Telekom, ThysenKrupp and Covestro are up 1 to 2 percent.
Deutsche Post, Daimler, Deutsche Boerse, Continental and Bayer are losing 1 to 3 percent.
In the French market, the CAC 40 is up 6.78 points or 0.12 percent at 5,456.99.
Arcelor Mittal is rising 2.1 percent. STMicroelectronics and Publicis Group are gaining 1.7 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively. Renault, Peugeot, Michelin, Vinci, Valeo SA, Technip and Legrand are weak.
In economic news, a survey from Bank of France revealed the country's is forecast to grow at a slightly faster pace in the second quarter. The central bank kept is growth forecast for the second quarter unchanged at 0.3 percent. In the first quarter of this fiscal, the economy saw 0.2 percent growth.
The manufacturing confidence dropped to 100.0 in May from 102.0 in April. The sentiment indicator in services declined to 101 May, from a score of 102 a month earlier.
Among other markets in Europe, Italy is up sharply, with its benchmark index gaining more than 2 percent.
Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland are trading higher with gains ranging from 0.2 to 0.8 percent.
by P2PNews Staff Writer