By Emily Horton
European markets were up on Monday, as investors grew optimistic ahead of the start of the latest round of trade talks between the U.S. and China set to start in Beijing.
A number of Europe's major banks climbed, while oil majors also rose.
How are markets performing?
The Stoxx Europe 600 added 0.6%, after finishing the previous week down 0.5%.
Italy's FTSE MIB was the regions top climber, adding 1.5% to 19,648.13, while France's CAC 40 rose 0.8% to 5,000.43, Germany's DAX 30 added 0.7% to 10,983.80 and the FTSE 100 gained 0.4% to 7,098.14.
The pound pared earlier losses, which helped boost the FTSE 100, fetching $1.2930 from $1.2942 late on Friday in New York. The euro fell to $1.1321 from $1.1326.
Opinion:Europeans must get rid of the failing EU one way or another: The polite Brexit way, or the rowdy yellow-vest way
What's driving the markets?
Investors were looking ahead to the restart of trade talks between China and the U.S. on Monday. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and trade representative Robert Lighthizer will represent the administration of President Donald Trump without the president, after Trump made it clear he will not be meeting with President Xi Jinping before the trade deal deadline of March 1.
Brexit talks between the U.K. and Brussels will also begin again on Monday. However, investors are nervous given the increasing likelihood of a disorderly exit from the EU and little room for negotiations over the previously agreed draft withdrawal treaty. Prime Minister Theresa May has reached out to the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn in an attempt to appease the parliamentary deadlock.
To add to this, official data revealed Brexit anxiety has hampered the U.K.'s economic growth in 2018, the slowest in six yeas -- according to data from the Office of National Statistics.
What shares were active?
A number of Europe's major banks rose Monday. Banco BPM added 7%, after Italy's fourth largest bank reportedly (https://uk.reuters.com/article/eurozone-banks-banco-bpm/ecb-set-total-srep-capital-requirement-at-1025-pct-for-2019-banco-bpm-idUKS8N1ZG04K) said the European Central Bank has requested the bank adheres to new capital requirements. HSBC Holdings PLC added 0.9% and Banco Santander rose by 0.8%.
Meanwhile, Royal Bank of Scotland Group lost almost 2%. The bank is expected to report results Friday.
Travel company TUI AG reclaimed some lost ground on Monday after last week's tumble, adding 3%.
Smith & Nephew PLC (SN.LN) dropped by over 5%, after (https://www.ft.com/content/3b5caa08-2be0-11e9-88a4-c32129756dd8)the Financial Times reported (https://www.ft.com/content/3b5caa08-2be0-11e9-88a4-c32129756dd8) the company was in talks to buy NuVasive Inc. , a maker of medical instruments used in spinal surgery. NuVasive shares climbed 14% in premarket trading in the U.S. on Monday.