European Stocks Diverge as Investors Weigh Economic Optimism With Mixed Earnings

European benchmarks were mixed Monday amid nascent optimism over the outlook for global growth and another mixed bag of corporate earnings reports.

Metals prices and mining stocks were among the greatest beneficiaries of improving sentiment toward the global economy, which was boosted Friday by better than expected U.S. jobs numbers for the month of July, while French and German benchmarks were among those hit by the session's corporate news. 

The FTSE 100 had gained 0.14% to 7,526 an hour out from the close in London while the DAX slipped had 0.54% to 12,238 in Frankfurt. France's CAC 40 fell 0.06% to 5,199 while, in Madrid, the IBEX was flat at 10,659.

In the economic sphere German industrial production slid 1.1% during June, according to Destasis data released during the early hours, marking the first fall in industrial activity for Europe's largest economy in the year to date.

Big movers in London included house builders Barratt Developments (BTDPF) and Taylor Wimpey (TWODF) as well as miners BHP Billiton (BHP) , Anglo American (NGLOY) and Glencore (GLNCF) .

Barratt and Taylor Wimpey pared some of last week's steep losses, which came about in the face of a report that the government is considering ending its Help to Buy scheme, which is a government program that provides home buyers with help to build a mortgage deposit.

Mining stocks were top of the blue chip index as the session close approached, pushed higher by a brightening outlook for the global economy and a strong showing from metals prices in London, with aluminum, copper, iron ore, lead and nickel all posting gains during the session.

In the same vein, steel and industrial equipment makers were some of the biggest gainers over on continental Europe, with ArcelorMittal (MT) trading more than 3% higher in Paris and Thyssenkrupp (TYEKF) rising to the top of the DAX in Frankfurt after adding around 1%.

However, the DAX was weighed down by losses at companies like medical equipment maker Fresenius (FMS) , whose shares dropped nearly 2% after it unveilled a €2 billion acquisition ($2.35 billion). 

In Italy, the NPL-laden Banco BPM (BPSAF) saw its stock rise 3.2% and to the top of the FTSE MIB after it said it will sell its asset management unit, Anima, for around €950 million ($1.1 billion).