European shares rose for a sixth straight day on Monday, the longest winning streak in five months, on optimism for the economy and as China's decision not to raise interest rates boosted miners.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index rose 0.3 percent to 1,129.33 points, its highest close since September 2008. It was the index's longest winning run since July.
There's a bit more confidence about the cyclical outlook, Bill Dinning, head of strategy at Aegon Asset Management in Edinburgh, said.
You've seen some of the worst fears in Europe ... (such as) the sovereign crisis ... put on hold, though I think it will come back. There's been a general drift-up of expectations in terms of economic forecasts, especially for Germany.
Cooper hit a record high and other metals gained, boosted by trong data from top consumer China. Miners to benefit included BHP Billiton
China's central bank raised reserve requirements for banks instead of benchmark interest rates, easing concerns that a tightening of its monetary policy could lead to a slowdown in one of the major growth engines of the global economy.
The sector was boosted by a weaker dollar <.DXY>, which also supported oil prices, with Brent well above $91.
Among the bigger oil companies, Total
Takeover activity boosted investor sentiment, especially in the oil services sector.
General Electric Co
The European benchmark index is up 75 percent from a lifetime low in March 2009. Several major economies have emerged from recession, helped by stimulus from governments and central banks worldwide.
There's a good chance corporate profitability will continue to be strong. Companies will take that confident outlook and hire more people, said Dinning.
Across Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 <.FTSE>, Germany's DAX <.GDAXI> and France's CAC 40 <.FCHI> ended the day between 0.3 and 0.9 percent higher.
Confidence over the pace of economic recovery in the United States helped bolster positive sentiment following upbeat economic data last week, including strong U.S. consumer confidence and an improving jobs outlook.
Trading volumes, however, were thin as the year-end holiday period draws closer.
... I don't think there are too many investors willing to take big risks in the remaining days of the year. It could mean that people are going to secure their profits. The market could become pretty volatile in the coming days due to lower volumes, said Koen De Leus, strategist at KBC Securities.
DRUGMAKERS TAKE HIT
Pharmaceutical stocks were mostly lower. French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis
Back among the winners, French carmaker Renault
Within the sector, Peugeot
(Additional reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by David Hulmes)