Hopes for an imminent end to the conflict in Libya boosted most of Europe’s stock markets on Monday.
The bounce back went some way to erasing last week’s steep sell-off which took the region’s share prices to their lowest levels in two years.
Bargain hunters were out in force with investors grabbing stocks that looked to be good value after the recent declines.
But they remain nervous as the threat of recession still hangs over Europe and the US and there are persistent worries about the euro zone sovereign debt crisis spreading to the larger economies in the region.
Financial analyst Oliver Roth, of Close Brothers Seydler Bank said: “I am expecting a slow-down of the selling market, simply because they (investors) are out of breath and they need some time to rest. We will see for this week a calming down of the markets, definitely.”
He added: “Every wave of sales needs a break and I think we will see a break this week. The market is going to go sideways, and at the end of the week there will be some economic data published which we will look at very carefully as recession is an issue here.”
Energy companies were among Europe’s biggest gainers.
ENI, the biggest foreign oil producer in Libya, rose 6.3 percent. France’s Total, among the other heavyweight energy companies active in Libya, rose 2.6 percent. The sector gained 1.3 percent, though Brent crude slipped in anticipation of increased supplies from Libya.
Gold hit new records on Monday, nearing $1,900 an ounce. That after staging its biggest weekly gain in two and a half years last week
Investors are buying the precious metal as a safe haven from the current economic uncertainty.