Investing.com - European stocks opened higher on Monday, but gains were expected to remain limited by fresh speculation over a possible U.S. rate hike before the end of the year.
Investors remained cautious after San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams on Thursday signaled support for a September rate increase.
"In the context of a strong domestic economy with good momentum, it makes sense to get back to a pace of gradual rate increases, preferably sooner rather than later," he said.
Minutes of the Federal Reserve's July policy meeting published earlier in the week showed committee members remained divided on the timing of the next rate hike, although there is general agreement that more data is needed before such a move.
Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) climbed 0.65% and 0.60%, while Germany’s Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) and Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) rose 0.10% and 0.21%.
Elsewhere, Germany insurance company Allianz (DE:ALVG) shares advanced 0.62% after hotel booking platform Reservations.com announced its partnership with Allianz Global Assistance.
In London, FTSE 100 edged up 0.12%, boosted by easyJet (LON:EZJ), whose shares jumped 1.22% following news AerCap, the world’s biggest aircraft leasing company, might team up with founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou to take the airline private.
Financial stocks added to gains, as Lloyds Banking (LON:LLOY) inched up 0.04% and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) added 0.16%, while HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) rose 0.26% and Barclays (LON:BARC) climbed 0.73%.
Meanwhile, mining stocks were broadly lower on the commodity-heavy index. Anglo American (LON:AAL) tumbled 1.94% and Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) lost 2.34%, while Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) and Fresnillo (LON:FRES) plunged 2.52% and 3.66% respectively.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady to lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.09% fall, S&P 500 futures showed a 0.06% slip, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.02% dip.
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