The boss of UniCredit, Italy's biggest bank, is working on the idea of merging with France's Société Générale, according to the Financial Times.
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.
Stocks are holding higher despite somewhat hawkish rhetoric from rate-setters in Norway and Switzerland, against a backdrop of continuing trade tensions, with the market spotlight having shifted to the US and China.
Community regeneration housebuilder MJ Gleeson announced a "strong performance" for its first half on Monday, with profit before tax up 19.1% and an increase in the interim dividend of 38.5% to 9.0p per share.
Christopher Mills, a non-executive director of urban regeneration and land development firm MJ Gleeson, benefited from the sale of 1,500,000 ordinary shares in the company on Thursday.
The cost of legal disputes hit French bank Societe Generale on Friday as it released third quarter results that missed estimates.
Beazley: Credit Suisse initiates at Buy with a target price of 565p.
Housebuilder MJ Gleeson said on Wednesday that its full-year results are likely to exceed the top end of expectations amid strong demand, as it announced plans to double housing completions within the next five years.
European equity markets have begun the morning drifting slightly lower as investors keep their cards close to their chests ahead of several key risks events later in the week.
European stocks continued to trade slightly lower come midday, as traders digested the latest geopolitical news, including the tragic events in London at the weekend, amid caution from some top-ranked strategists.
Domestically-focused UK stocks are unloved and underpriced, but unjustifiably so, analysts at Barclays Research believe, as they predict that recent outperformance by the group will run further.
AstraZeneca: UBS downgrades to Neutral with a target price of 5150p.
Berenberg initiated coverage of MJ Gleeson at 'buy' with a 740p price target, calling it a "standout" UK housebuilder.
Analysts at Liberum have raised their forecasts for housebuilders, preferring growers rather than returners, but they remain cautious about the housing sector due to share price gains.
Ocado continues to make big bets on its business, namely on automation, but profits remain elusive, The Times's Tempus said.
Rate-setters in Frankfurt stuck to script on Thursday, with chief Mario Draghi saying that underlying inflation remained low and was only expected to rise gradually, even while at the same time striking a more confident note on the economic outlook which gave lenders' shares a boost.
France's presidential election took a further twist on Friday, after left wing candidates Benoit Hamon and Jean-Luc Melenchon said they were discussing a merger in order to combat the National Front's Marine Le Pen.
Liberum downgraded Barratt Developments to 'sell' as it took a look at the UK housebuilding sector.
Housebuilder MJ Gleeson hiked its full-year dividend by 45% as profit and revenue in the year to the end of June grew.
A French appeals court has slashed damages owed to Société Générale from rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel to 1m from 4.9bn on Friday.