- Global regulators ease banking rules
- Jim O'Neill sees opportunities in Greece, Spain and Portugal
- US releases monthly budget
FTSE 100: 0.19%
CAC 40: 0.23%
FTSE MIB: 0.41%
IBEX 35: 0.60%
Stoxx 600: 0.25%
European stocks gained after global regulators eased the leverage-ratio rule for banks.
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision diluted a planned debt limit for banks following a meeting in Switzerland yesterday.
The committee said the leverage ratio, which penalises low-risk financial activities and curtails lending, was adjusted after thoroughly analysing bank data.
Banking stocks posted the second-biggest gain on the Stoxx 600 after the news. Deutsche Bank and Barclays were among the big risers.
Turning to today's agenda, the US will release its monthly budget statement for December. It will otherwise be a quiet day for economic data and trading releases today.
"This should give investors time to digest to huge amount of releases and central-bank decisions from last week and decide what they all actually mean for the markets going forward," said Craig Erlam, Market Analyst at Alpari.
"The key one here will be Friday's US jobs report, which showed only 74,000 jobs being added in December."
The non-farm payrolls report on Friday was well below estimates of around 200,000, fuelling speculation over whether the Federal Reserve will continue scaling back asset purchases at its meeting at the end of the month.
The Fed last month announced it would begin reducing monthly bond purchases by $10bn to $85bn.
UBS gained after Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti dismissed reports that the lender will spin off its investment-banking business to meet regulators' demands for holding more capital.
Suedzucker edged higher after the maker of sugar, starch and bakery additives reiterated its full-year forecasts.
Debenhams jumped after Sports Direct International bought a 4.63% interest in the UK department store.
Alcatel-Lucent rallied following reports the French network-equipment maker is in talks to sell its enterprise business to potential buyers including Unify GmH & Co..
ECB may need to act further some say
Acting as a backdrop, over the weekend an investor round-table organised by FT Money revealed that several of the experts taking part see European equities as one of the more attractive investment opportunities this year. Jim O'Neill, ex-President at Goldman Asset Management, specifically cited the Greek, Spanish and Portuguese markets as possibly some of the most interesting to look at.
The possible need for the ECB to act further to curtail deflation risks was one of the other main common denominators of the discussions.
The euro fell 0.08% to $1.3659.
Brent crude futures fell $0.047 to $107.200.