Stocks have started the morning higher despite the heavy newsflow at the weekend around the simmering trade tensions between the US and China, but also in relation to allies including Canada and the European Union.
At the weekend, Beijing threatened to withdraw from its previously agreed commitments with Washington to cut its bilateral trade deficit on goods with the US if the Trump Administration moved ahead with tariffs on $50bn-worth of Chinese products.
Traders were also keeping a close eye on events in Italy and Spain and on the first steps by the new governments in each country.
"With respect to Italy's new government, which should be ratified later today, and subsequent rebound in bond and equity markets after last week's turbulence, only the most ardent optimist would argue that just because a renowned Eurosceptic in the name of Paolo Savona hasn't become Italy's finance minister that the EU's problems have somehow lessened," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
As of 1030 BST, the benchmark Stoxx 600 was advancing 0.52% or 2.01 points to 388.93, alongside a gain of 0.28% or 35.0 points to 12,758.37 for the German Dax and a rise of 0.30% or 66.92 points to 22,177.25 for Milan's FTSE Mibtel.
Meanwhile, in Spain, the recently-ousted PP party was said to be blocking extra investment in the Basque country included in the country's 2018 Budget Law, after nationalists from the region backed a no-confidence vote against it on Friday, just days after having supported passage of the new Budget.
The flow of economic data was light at the start of the week, with the main release being Eurostat data showing that producer prices in the single currency bloc were unchanged in month-on-month terms in April and up by 2.0% on the year (consensus: 2.4%).
Greece also delivered some positive news, with the country's statistical agency, ELSTAT, reporting that the Mediterranean country's gross domestic product jumped by 0.8% quarter-on-quarter over the first three months of the year, doubling economists' projections for growth of 0.4%.
For later in the day, the US Commerce Department was scheduled to publish its final reading on durable goods orders figures for the month of April at 1500 BST.
Dominating the corporate headlines, the Financial Times reported that Italy's UniCredit was mulling a merger with Societe Generale; but the talks were said to be at an early stage, with recent political events in Rome possibly throwing a spanner into the works.
Separately, SocGen announced it had reached a financial settlement with US authorities on probes into its alleged participation in rigging LIBOR rates and the payment of bribes to Libyan officials.