LONDON (The Deal) -- European markets staged a broad recovery on Monday from Friday's sudden fall, as tensions between Russia and the Ukraine appeared to ease a little. The better mood followed a meeting between the Russian and Ukranian foreign ministers in Berlin on Sunday night. The meeting, attended by Germany and France, is seen as offering a glimmer of hope of a ceasefire, but nobody's holding their breath just yet. Russia said the two sides reached agreement on allowing Moscow's controversial humanitarian aid convoy into rebel held territory, while Ukraine said one of its fighters has been shot down.
In London, the market was led up by resources stocks, including Rio Tinto (RIO) , which announced a review of its holding in a big copper mine in Papua New Guinea. But the mood boosted the construction sector. Positive results came from mid-cap house-builder Bovis Homes, which announced a 166% increase in pretax profits on the back of continuing demand and small-cap Polypipe Group, which makes plastic pipes for the building trade as well as for industry. Polypipe listed earlier this year and announced its first interim dividend.
French private-equity firm Wendel rose 0.6% on news that its portfolio company Materis is in talks to sell its cement chemicals business Chryso to LBO France for about $390 million.
Vivendi's stock rose up 1.12% at 19.40 euros, on reports that Telecom Italia is preparing a 7 billion euros ($9.4 billion) bid for its Brazilian telecoms subsidiary GVT in competition with a rival 6.7 billion bid from Spain's Telefonica. The news also pushed up the prices of both Telecom Italia and Telefonica on their domestic market. The Italian company was up 0.68% at 0.80 euros, while in Madrid, Telefonica was up 0.51% at 11.73 euros.
In Frankfurt, German internet portal United Internet was up about 4.8% at 32.77 euros after investing 435 million euros ($582 million) in Rocket Internet on Friday, as the German internet start-up incubator prepares for a probable IPO in September. Rocket Internet is looking at a valuation of $4.5 billion to $5 billion. Rocket Internet's prospects also boosted Swedish investment company Kinnevik, which owns about 18% of the company. Kinnevik was up 3.2% in Stockholm at Skr274. Len Blavatnik's Access Industries is also a big investor in Rocket Internet.
In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.62% at 6,730.76, while in Paris, the CAC 40 was up 1.06% at 4,218. In Frankfurt, the DAX was up 1.35% at 9,208.86 and Moscow's MICEX Composite -- which closed before more westerly markets fell on Friday-- had less room to recover. It was down 0.03% at 1,419.
In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 closed up 0.03 at 15,322.6, while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.57% at 2,239.47.