- UK jobless rate falls more than expected
- Eurozone inflation drops
- Ukraine tensions remain high
FTSE 100: 0.25%
CAC 40: 0.78%
FTSE MIB: 1.91%
IBEX 35: 0.99%
Stoxx 600: 0.66%
European stocks rallied as the UK unemployment rate fell more than expected.
The UK jobless rate dropped to 6.9% in the three months to February from 7.2% the previous quarter, surprising analysts who had predicted a slight dip to 7.1%.
Jobless claims declined 30,400 in March following a 37,000 decrease in February, beating forecasts for a 30,000 slide.
British employers added 239,000 jobs in the quarter to February after 105,000 three months earlier. Analysts had estimated 90,000 jobs.
Weekly earnings rose by 1.4% during the quarter, compared to 1.2% previously and forecasts for a 1.7% increase.
"The latest labour market figures showing that average earnings are finally rising at a faster rate than prices mark another major milestone in the economy's recovery," Capital Economics said.
In the Eurozone, a report confirmed inflation fell to 0.5% in March from 0.7% in February.
It adds pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to intervene should prices not rebound.
ECB President Mario Draghi over the weekend said a "further strengthening of the exchange rate
would require further stimulus".
Later in the US, will be the release of data on industrial and manufacturing production, mortgage applications and housing starts.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will address the Economic Club of New York after European markets close. The US central bank will also unveil its Beige Book, an economic survey.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian government forces clashed with separatist pro-Russian militia in eastern Ukraine today.
The Kiev government trying to assert control before Thursday's Geneva meeting at which the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers are due to meet for the first time in front of the US and the European Union.
International Consolidated Airlines gained as HSBC Holdings upgraded the parent of British Airways to 'overweight' from 'neutral', saying it sees strong earnings momentum in 2014 and 2015.
Suez Environnement advanced as Exane BNP Paribas raised its recommendation for Europe's second-biggest water company to 'outperform' from 'neutral'.
Tesco advanced as the UK supermarket chain reported annual trading profit that beat analysts' estimates.
Burberry Group edged higher after the UK luxury-goods maker revealed an increase in second-half sales that exceeded forecasts.
BHP Billiton gained as the mining company raised its full-year iron-ore production guidance after a jump in third-quarter output.
Syngenta rallied as the world's largest maker of crop chemicals posted a rise in quarterly sales that was in line with market consensus.
Credit Suisse declined as the second-biggest Swiss bank said lower investment-bank profit led to a drop in first-quarter net income.
The euro rose 0.16% to $1.3837.
Brent crude futures rose $0.609 to $110.030 per barrel, according the ICE.