MADRID (MarketWatch) -- European stock markets kicked off Monday's trading with slight gains, led by French banking stocks after broker upgrades. Analysts noted debt-buying plans by the Japanese government and a speech by Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, who reportedly said the U.S. economy will grow by 2.5% this year and 3.5% next, as positives for sentiment this morning. The Stoxx Europe 600 index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP +0.34% was slightly positive at 287.08, while the French CAC 40 index /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 +0.94% rose 0.2% to 2,712.53. Shares of Societe Generale SA /zigman2/quotes/206663756/delayed FR:GLE +1.22% rose 2.5% and Credit Agricole SA /zigman2/quotes/209264506/delayed FR:ACA +0.64% gained 2% after those banks were upgraded to outperform by Credit Suisse. The German DAX 30 index /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -0.21% rose 0.1% to 7,725.83 and the FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.04% was flat at 6,122.80. Shares of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain SA /zigman2/quotes/201813666/delayed FR:SGO +0.34% rose 3% after Ardagh Glass Ltd. offered $1.69 billion for its North American Verallia unit, which makes glass bottles and jars.
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French banks up as the rest of Europe struggles