By Danilo Masoni
MILAN Gains in heavyweight miners and banks helped European shares recover on Monday as investors turned their focus to the start of a new round of trade talks between Beijing and Washington.
The pan-regional STOXX 600 index rose 0.9 percent by 0931 GMT, having fallen to one-week lows on Friday amid worries over an economic slowdown and lack of progress in the trade negotiations.
But as talks between the world's two largest economies resumed on Monday, China struck an upbeat note. It did however express anger at a U.S. Navy mission through the disputed South China Sea, casting a shadow over the prospect for improved bilateral ties.
"Growth, China, trade, Brexit – the big themes that have been front of mind for months now remain very much in play this week," said Neil Wilson, analyst for Markets.com.
Among national benchmarks, Germany's trade-sensitive DAX index and London's FTSE 100 both added 0.9 percent, while France's CAC gained 1.1 percent.
Europe's basic resources index rose 1.3 percent, leading sectoral gainers, after Chinese iron ore prices hit a record high on worries that supply from Brazil may fall following the Vale dam collapse.
Shares in Glencore (LON:GLEN), Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) and BHP were up between 0.9 and 1.6 percent.
Banks were also strong, up 1.3 percent, with Italian lenders leading the way after Banco BPM and UBI Banca and UniCredit said their capital ratios met European Central Bank standards. Their shares were up between 2.4 and 5.6 percent.
Deutsche Post (DE:DPWGn) rose 2.1 percent on a report saying that Germany was set to grant the postal services firm a higher-than-expected increase in postage for letters to account for fewer letters sent and higher costs.
Just Eat rose 1.9 percent after its shareholder Cat Rock urged the British takeaway ordering website to start merger discussions. Shares in rival Delivery Hero were down 0.2 percent while Takeaway.com rose 0.7 percent.
Among the few fallers was Smith & Nephew (LON:SN), down 3.4 percent, following a report it has held talks to buy U.S. medical equipment maker NuVasive in a deal that would be worth more than $3 billion.