After a day of choppy trading, European shares finished up on Monday, as signs emerged that the credit freeze is thawing – the amounts that banks charge each other for lending money continue to fall.
Investors have also been snapping up bargains and looking forward to expected interest rate cuts from the European Central Bank and the Bank of England this week.
Oliver Roth, a trader with Close Brothers Seydler AG, said: “I am cautiously optimistic – at least for this week – that we will be seeing stable even rising stock prices, because of the usual year end rally.”
The financial sector was a strong performer on Monday.
The region’s stock markets have now risen for five straight sessions, that is their longest run of gains in a year but they are also likely to experience their worst year on record.