The European markets are firmly in positive territory on Monday, after the Spanish government over the weekend requested for as much as 100 billion euros in financial aid from the European Union to shore up its banking system.
The Group of Seven industrialized nations and the International Monetary Fund have welcomed the Eurozone governments' decision to provide financial support to Spain's ailing banking sector.
''I strongly welcome the statement by the Eurogroup, which complements the measures taken by the Spanish authorities in recent weeks to strengthen the banking system," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement on Saturday.
She said this scale of proposed financing, which is consistent with the capital needs identified in the FSAP, gives assurance that the financing needs of Spain's banking system will be fully met.
The bailout fund will be routed through Spain's bank-rescue fund called FROB.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is climbing 1.8 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is advancing 1.2 percent.
The German DAX is advancing 1.9 percent and the French CAC 40 is gaining 1.5 percent. The UK's FTSE 100 and Switzerland's SMI are advancing 0.9 percent each.
Banks in Madrid surged in response to the bailout news. Banco Bilbao is adding 4.5 percent and Banco Santander is rising 3.9 percent. Bankia is gaining 8.2 percent while Bankinter is climbing 4.7 percent.
In Frankfurt, Volkswagen is adding 3.8 percent. A report said the carmaker is considering to purchase a stake in troubled U.S. truckmaker Navistar International Corp. Daimler and BMW are advancing 2.4 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
Deutsche Bank is up 3.1 percent and Commerzbank is gaining 2.8 percent.
Bayer is adding 3 percent and Infineon Technologies is gaining 2.9 percent.
Societe Generale raised Henkel to "Buy" from "Hold." The stock is gaining 1.4 percent.
Fresenius boosted its profit forecast for 2012. The stock is moderately higher.
In Paris, Credit Agricole is leading the gainers by adding 3.9 percent. Societe Generale and BNP Paribas are advancing 2.9 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.
Insurer Axa is adding 3.8 percent. Builder Vinci is adding 3.3 percent and Bouygues is climbing 2.3 percent.
Renault is gaining 1.3 percent while Peugeot is moderately higher.
Bucking the uptrend, Accor is losing 3.1 percent.
Anglo American is advancing 2.3 percent and Antofagasta is adding 2.7 percent. BHP Billiton is up 2.2 percent.
Barclays is advancing 2.5 percent. Lloyds Banking is gaining 3.8 percent and Royal Bank of Scotland is up 1.9 percent.
Tesco is falling 0.7 percent. The supermarket chain reported a modest growth in first-quarter sales and said its performance in the UK has been steady during a challenging quarter for the industry as a whole.
Severfield-Rowen is plunging over 13 percent after issuing a profit warning.
Mouchel Group is plunging 27 percent. The firm issued an interim management statement, saying review of options to provide the firm with a long term sustainable capital structure is progressing. However, all options being considered will result in only limited value for existing shareholders.
Flybe Group is gaining 7.5 percent. The carrier reported a wider full year pre-tax loss, but said it is well placed to take advantage of any improvement in the UK macro environment.
Telefonica said Sunday that it has agreed to sell almost half of its stake in China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. to the Chinese telecom operator's parent company for $1.43 billion. The deal is part of Telefonica's attempts to reduce its debt. The stock is up 1.9 percent.
Ericsson is climbing 1.6 percent in Stockholm. Berenberg cut the stock to "Sell" from "Hold."
Societe Generale lowered its rating on Nestle to "Hold" from "Buy." The stock is moderately up.
In economic news, French manufacturing production declined less than forecast in April, while industrial production grew unexpectedly, data from the statistical office Insee revealed.
Final data released by Italy's statistical office Istat confirmed that the economy remained in recession in the first quarter. Italy's gross domestic product contracted 0.8 percent quarter-on-quarter on a seasonally and calendar adjusted basis, matching the preliminary estimate.
China saw a merchandise trade surplus of $16.70 billion in May, the customs agency said on Sunday. That was well above forecasts for a surplus of $16.25 billion. Exports surged 15.3 percent on year, blowing past expectations for an increase of 7.1 percent, while imports jumped 12.7 percent compared to forecasts for a gain of 5.5 percent.
Across Asia/Pacific, markets rallied. China's Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.1 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 2.4 percent and Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 2 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the major averages bounced off their early lows and climbed firmly into positive territory as the day progressed. The Dow rose 0.8 percent, the Nasdaq advanced 1 percent and the S&P 500 climbed 0.8 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for July delivery is adding $0.85 to $84.95 per barrel while August gold is adding $1.2 to $1592.6 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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