London: European shares were higher in early trade on Monday, with banks and oils taking the lead and outweighing a fall in Dutch bancassurer ING.
By 0810 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares was up 0.4 at 1,013.30 points. The index, which fell 45% in 2008, is up 21% this year and has gained almost 56% from a record low hit in March.
“The rally is still showing no signs of petering out. This week we have got big European companies reporting like GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and BP,” said Justin Urquhart Stewart, director at Seven Investment Management.
“I suspect they will have pretty good figures. But, again what we are looking for here is whether they are just continuing to cut costs or they actually seeing signs of uptakes in orders,” he said.
Banks featured among the best performers. Banco Santander, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and UniCredit were up 0.6 to 1.1%.
However, ING fell 4% after the company said it would split itself in two and launched a €7.5 billion rights issue to repay some of its state aid.
Energy shares were higher. BG Group, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total gained 0.5 to 0.8%.