RTTNews - The European markets are likely to extend the previous week's gains amid reports about New York-based business lending giant CIT Group negotiating an agreement worth three billion dollars with its bondholders to avoid bankruptcy.

After a string of positive earnings reports last week, investors look forward to quarterly earnings from Texas Instruments to gauge underpinning indicators of an economic recovery. On the economic front, all eyes would be on U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke this week for his comments on the state of the US economy in his semi-annual congressional testimony over two days starting Tuesday.

Asian stocks edged higher on Monday with traders lapping up stocks on the back of fairly impressive quarterly results and on hopes of an economic revival. Higher commodity prices and better-than-expected data on U.S. housing starts have also contributed to the firm trend. The Tokyo Stock Exchange is closed today on account of Ocean Day and the Indonesian market for Isra Mi'raj.

After finishing at its best level in 11 days on Friday, crude oil futures extended their gains further in Asian trading on Monday amid gains in Asian stocks and the weakness of the dollar against the euro. The commodity was last trading at $64.18 a barrel, up nearly 1%.

On Friday, Wall Street ended with modest gains after a highly choppy ride amid mixed reaction to earnings reports and housing data. While Google, IBM and financial stalwarts Bank of America and Citigroup posted better than expected second-quarter earnings, industry bellwether General Electric reported a 47% drop in earnings, with profits from its non-finance units falling short of expectations.

The average asking prices of properties in the UK rose 0.6% in July, after dropping 0.4% in the preceding month, the latest report from the property website Rightmove said Monday. This is the fifth monthly increase for the year, it said. Compared to the previous year, prices were down 3.1%, slower than the 5.5% drop in the preceding month.

German producer prices continued to drop for the fourth month in June, data released by the Federal Statistical Office showed Monday. The producer price index or PPI fell 4.6% year-over-year in June, the fastest fall since December 1968, when producer prices dropped 5%. Economists expected the PPI to fall 4.2% in June.

Separately, a report by Statistics Estonia said the producer price index decreased 1.2% year-over-year in June, slower than the 2.1% fall in the preceding month

In corporate news, Roger Jenkins, Barclay plc's high-profile executive and supposedly its highest-paid employee, is leaving to set up his own advisory business, reports suggest.

Trintech Group plc announced a strategic partnership with WNS (Holdings), a provider of business process outsourcing services and solutions. Under the terms of the agreement, WNS will offer its customers financial governance applications, implementation services and technical support in order to maximize efficiencies, tighten controls and increase ROI from financial operations.

Investment banks HSBC and Nomura are likely to investigate options for disposing Arcandor's Karstadt department store business and its mail-order operations grouped under its Primondo division, Germany's Der Spiegel reported on Saturday.

Mining gaint BHP Billiton will hold interviews this week with Jacques Nasser, former chief executive of Ford, and John Schubert, a former managing director of Esso Australia, for the post of chairman, the Telegraph reports.

Representatives from the Kuwait Investment Authority contacted Continental AG's Chief Executive Officer Karl-Thomas Neumann in recent days for taking a stake in the company, Wirtschaftswoche said.

Domino's Pizza UK & IRL plc said its half-year pre-tax profit increased to £13.095 million from £9.70 million a year ago. Profit for the period rose to £9.30 million from £6.89 million in the prior year period.

Electra Private Equity Plc said its new wholly-owned subsidiary, Electra Private Equity Investments Plc, is undertaking an institutional cash placing to raise gross proceeds of up to GBP 60 million by the issue of zero dividend preference, or ZDP, shares

Meanwhile, the European markets rose for the fifth day on Friday, led by banking, energy and mining stocks amid firmer crude oil and metals prices. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.43% higher, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index rose 0.43%. Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index gained 0.62%, France's CAC 40 index added 0.59% and Germany's DAX index rose 0.43%.

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