European stocks open higher; Barclays court case eyed

Big 5

Bourses in Europe opened higher on Monday, entering into the new month on a solid footing after markets posted gains for the first half of the year.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up 0.56 percent, with all sectors and major bourses trading in positive territory.

The oil and gas sector was the best performing in early morning deals, up 1.2 percent as investors looked ahead to a scheduled $4.8 billion deal between France’s Total and Iran, which is due to be signed later Monday. The deal, which will see a Total-led consortium develop South Pars, a giant Iranian gas field, is the first since the EU lifted sanctions against Iran in early-2016. Total was up 1.21 percent.

More broadly, Brent was up 0.45 percent at $48.98 per barrel and U.S. crude was up 0.56 percent at $46.30.

Nets, a Nordics-based payment provider, was up more than 11 percent after reports that it had been approached by a potential buyer. The boost marks a 9-month-high for the firm which listed on the stock market last year.

Banks, too, were also strong performers Monday, up 1.18 percent. HSBC was the best performer, maintaining highs seen last week after the bank received a rating upgrade from Morgan Stanley, which caused the stock to hit a four-year high.

Also on the agenda Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron is to address Parliament in Congress to outline the direction of his mandate and a host of manufacturing data will be released.

Meanwhile in the U.S., President Donald Trump attracted new consternation Sunday evening after tweeting a video of himself tackling and punching a man with a CNN logo super-imposed on his head, part of his ongoing offensive against the mainstream media.

Barclays fraud trial

Monday sees the start of fraud trial into Barclays and four former executives who are accused of raising capital from Qatar at the height of the financial crisis. This is the first time charges have been taken against a global bank in relation to actions taken during the financial crisis.

At the same time, Barclays has announced Dublin as its pick for its post-Brexit financial hub, enabling it to continue servicing European clients once the U.K. leaves the EU.

Barclays stock was up 1 percent at the market open.

Source: CNBC

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