European stock markets continued their nascent push higher Monday, aided by favorable political newsflow and an absence of adverse corporate earnings or economic data, which helped major benchmarks to post some of the strongest gains seen in the last two months.
The FTSE 100 rose 0.85% to close at 7,527 in London while its junior FTSE 250 sibling index gained 0.29% to settle at 19,874.
Across the channel, the DAX index added 1.13% to 12,896 in Frankfurt while the CAC 40 rose 1.05% in Paris before coming to rest at 5,318. Benchmarks were also buoyant in Southern Europe, with both the FTSE MIB in Milan and the IBEX in Italy notching up noteworthy gains for the session.
President Emmanuel Macron's landslide victory in French parliamentary elections was seen as paving the way for the insurgent force in French politics to push through his legislative agenda, which is widely expected to place a heavy emphasis on deregulation and measures that loosen protections in the labor market.
A weaker currency and M&A speculation helped to boost stocks in London during the session despite the long awaited commencement of Brexit talks in Brussels.
Grocery chain J Sainsbury (JSAIY) was the top riser on the FTSE 100 Monday after a multiple reports suggested that it could be on the verge of making a bid for a much smaller independent chain of convenience stores named NISA. Sainsbury stock rose more than 3% during the session.
The possible move comes after rival Tesco (TSCDY) agreed to buy one of the U.K.'s two largest wholesalers, which also owns a small chain of discount supermarkets, earlier this year.
Monday's price action is just the latest seen in a sector awash with deal speculation. The sale of Whole Foods (WFM) last week has led to ongoing speculation that e-commerce firm Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report could soon begin looking across the Atlantic for a grocery target.
It already has a partnership with WM Morrison (MRWSY) , who in turn has a partnership with warehousing and distribution firm Ocado (OCDDY) , with both firms seeing their shares gain Monday. Occado stock was up more than 12% during the session while Morrison added just less than 0.50% to Friday's gain.