- Syria military strike delayed
- Eurozone/China manufacturing grows
- Commodities gain
FTSE 100: 1.28%
CAC 40: 1.55%
FTSE MIB: 1.42%
IBEX 35: 2.00%
Stoxx 600: 1.43%
European equities rose as fears over imminent military action on Syria eased after US President Barack Obama said he would seek congressional authorisation before launching a strike.
Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad accused Obama of indecision and hesitation as the US leader delayed a military response to last month's chemical weapons attack near Damascus until after a congressional vote.
Obama's announcement is likely to delay any strike for at least nine days. He faced tough questions from lawmakers on Sunday when he tried to win over Congress.
Syria's government has continued to deny it used chemical weapons against civilians on August 21st.
"Barack Obama's decision to offer the vote to Congress when it returns next week reduces the likelihood that we'll see any military response unless there is hard evidence that the chemical attacks were carried out by the Assad regime," said Craig Erlam, Market Analyst at Alpari Research.
"Obama, like his UK counterpart, David Cameron, is likely to face staunch opposition from both inside and outside his party, to military action, with memories of the hugely unpopular war in Iraq still fresh in people's memories.
"Investors are unsurprisingly pleased with this delay, with the risk aversion seen towards the end of last week subsiding and money pouring back into European stocks."
Chinese and Eurozone manufacturing grows
Chinese manufacturing activity expanded in August, pointing to signs the world's second largest economy is strengthening after a two-quarter slowdown.
The manufactory purchasing managers' index (PMI) climbed to 50.1 last month from 47.7 in July, according to HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics. It was the biggest increase in three years and the first reading above 50 since April. A reading above 50 signals growth.
A separate report from Markit showed the Eurozone's manufacturing PMI rose to a 26-month high of 51.4 in August, compared to 50.5 in July, driven by growth in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria and Ireland.
Mining stocks surge
A gauge of miners rallied including Rio Tinto and Anglo American as the price of commodities climbed. Copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange jumped to $7,235 a metric ton, after falling 3.5% last week.
Vodafone gained after saying it was in advanced talks with Verizon Communications about selling its US business to Verizon for $130bn.
Alstom advanced after the French multinational conglomerate signed a contract with Minnesota Power to deliver an emission control system which will help reduce the utility company's emissions.