European markets end higher ahead of Brexit vote; Commerzbank surges 7%

European markets end higher ahead of Brexit vote; Commerzbank surges 7%

Ryanair, Glencore among other big movers

Europe’s indexes finished in positive territory Monday, led higher partly by banks, with investors also awaiting a scheduled U.K. parliamentary vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit.

Shares of Deutsche Bank AG and rival Commerzbank AG jumped after a report said that the two embattled German lenders were engaged in informal merger talks.

How did markets perform?

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.78% added 0.8% to 373.47 on Monday, after producing a weekly loss on Friday. Monday’s climb represented the pan-European index’s largest daily point and percentage gain since Feb. 15, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, +0.37% meanwhile, added 0.4% to 7,130.62, coming off its intrasession highs. Germany’s DAX DAX, +0.59% advanced 0.8% to 11,543.48 and France’s CAC 40 PX1, +0.66% climbed 0.7% to 5,265.96.

Italy’s FTSE MIB index I945, +0.75% gained 0.8% to close at 20,638.22, while Spain’s IBEX 35 IBEX, +0.47%  closed 0.5% higher at 9,171.90.

The British pound GBPUSD, +0.5248% bought $1.3028, versus $1.3014 late Friday, while the euro EURUSD, +0.1779% climbed to $1.1243 from $1.1236 late in New York on Friday.

What’s driving the markets?

May was set to arrive in Brussels Monday, as the U.K. Prime Minister attempts to renegotiate tweaks to her Brexit plans with commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. On Tuesday, British lawmakers are scheduled to vote on her deal, however May might.

Separately, weaker-than-expected Chinese loan and money-supply data and declining car sales data added to the mounting global economic slowdown evidence.

China’s aviation regulator has ordered its airlines to suspend the operation of Boeing 737 Max 8 planes after the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302, leading to 9% drop in the heavily weighted Boeing Co BA, -5.33% Shares of Ryanair Holdings PLC RY4C, -1.82% which uses the 737 Max within its fleet, fell 1.8%

Meanwhile, German industrial production dropped in January, missing forecasts, and exports were flat, a sign that Europe’s largest economy continues to flounder.

What stocks are active?

Deutsche Bank AG DBK, +5.12%  and rival Commerzbank AG CBK, +7.72%CBK, +7.72% are back in focus on Monday, after weekend reports that senior management at Deutsche had agreed to informal talks investigating the feasibility of a merger. The former’s shares gained 5% while Commerzbank’s climbed 7.2%.

A number of heavyweight miners were up, with shares of Glencore PLCGLEN, +1.75% gaining 1.8% and those for Anglo American PLC AAL, +0.83%finishing 0.8% higher.

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