European shares finished the day sharply higher with analysts crediting positive sentiment from Friday’s close on Wall Street and merger news.
A weekend agreement by the G20 to keep economic stimulus plans running also helped drive up investors’ appetite for risk. The meeting bolstered the view that interest rates will remain low for some time. Shares of European food groups surged following Kraft’s takeover bid for Cadbury. That spurring consolidation hopes in a sector that has been rather ignored during the recent rally. Cadbury’s shares shot up 38 percent. Associated British Foods rose 4.1 percent after nudging up its full-year earnings forecast on the back of strong results from its Primark discount clothing chain. Banks were also higher while miners found strength from rising metals prices. Oil prices gained ahead of an OPEC meeting which is expected to maintain current output levels.