LONDON (The Deal) -- European stocks rose on Monday amid a better-than-expected rise in euro-area industrial production and optimism about rate action from the U.S. this week.
In London, the FTSE 100 was 0.50% higher at 5,982.78, while in Frankfurt the DAX was up 0.45% at 10,387.04. In Paris, the CAC 40 added 1.03% to 4,956.23, after President François Hollande's Socialists did better than expected in Sunday's regional run-off elections while Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front failed to get a single win.
As for the eurozone as a whole, industrial production in the 19-country common-currency area rose by 1.9% in October over a year ago, the EU's statistical agency Eurostat reported on Monday. The increase was above the 1.3% rise predicted in most polls, and as gains in Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal and Ireland offset declines in Greece, Denmark and Finland.
News of the eurozone's economic recovery gathering pace added to the buoyant mood on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, two days before the Federal Reserve is expected to raise borrowing costs for the first time since 2006.
In London, gainers were led by Old Mutual (ODMUF) and Investec (IVTJY) , both of which get a majority of their revenue from South Africa, on news of a finance minister appointment that calmed markets and investors. President Jacob Zuma reappointed former finance minister Pravin Gordhan to the post, backtracking from a surprise decision to replace Nhlanhla Nene with a little-known lawmaker.
Old Mutual jumped 7.8%, while Invetec added 8.14%.
RPC Group climbed more than 2% after the plastics products design and engineering firm announced an acquisition for GCS Group for an enterprise value of €650 million. It plans to fund the deal through a combination of equity and debt.
AstraZeneca (AZN) inched up 0.43% after the pharmaceuticals maker said it is exploring "potential strategic options" with Acerta Pharma, a little-known Dutch maker of cancer drugs. The announcement comes after The Wall Street Journal reported that AstraZeneca is in advanced talks to buy Acerta Pharma for more than $5 billion.
In Frankfurt, Dialog Semiconductor (DLGNF) added 3.67%. The company's agreed $3.6 billion takeover of San Jose, Calif.-based chip maker Atmel (ATML) faces a new test, after Atmel revealed Friday that had received an unsolicited bid from a rival suitor worth nearly $3.8 billion.
Deutsche Wohnen rose 0.92% after the company urged its shareholders to reject a hostile bid from Vonovia, Germany's No. 1 residential property group, saying the offer value and structure is "inadequate" and that expected synergies are impossible to achieve. Vonovia SE shed 1.03%.
Merck KGaA was down 0.06%. The Darmstadt, Germany-based health care and life sciences company said it had acquired San Diego-based Ormet Circuits, an early-stage venture capital-backed materials supplier to the semiconductor industry. Terms were not disclosed.
In Paris, Veolia Environnement rose 2.44% as investors welcomed news that the French waste and water-treatment company will raise its dividend in the next three years amid a bullish outlook for coming years. Veolia said it expects revenue to climb by a year-on-year average 2% to 3% over the next three years and annual Ebitda growth of around 5%.
Asian stocks were mostly lower, with the Hang Seng back-pedaling 0.72% to 21,309.85 Hong Kong, and the Nikkei losing 1.08% to 18,883.42 in Tokyo.