Europe stocks higher amid optimism over trade talks, US bank earnings – CNBC

European stocks were mostly higher Monday as investors monitored corporate earnings and developments in U.S.-China trade talks.

The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 index was up 0.1%, with most sectors and major bourses in positive territory.

Looking at individual stocks, Norsk Hydro shares rose by nearly 4% 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 almost 2%.

Market focus is largely attuned to corporate earnings, with several companies set to release their first-quarter results this week. Goldman Sachs posted a Q1 profit beat on Monday, but revenue fell short of expectations on the back of tougher market conditions. Citi, meanwhile, also reported mixed earnings.

European bank shares nevertheless got a boost from early corporate results, climbing nearly 0.6%. J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo both reported stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings last week.

Elsewhere, investors continue to monitor developments in the U.S.-China trade talks. Over the weekend, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve 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.

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