RTTNews - With Wall Street futures pointing to a strong opening Monday morning, the European markets may extend their Friday's gains on optimism about a recovery in the global economy.

Asian stocks witnessed a broad-based rally on Monday, led by commodities producers, as crude oil prices rose further to $74.11 a barrel, up 0.30% in Asian trading on hopes of increased energy demand.

Meanwhile, there are some signs that the real economy is starting to come out of a period of free fall, but it did not mean there was not going to a bumpy recovery ahead, media reports quoted the European Central Bank chief Jean Claude Trichet as saying at the Federal Reserve's annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Trichet noted that criticizing a central bank that is acting with a steady hand for being 'behind the curve' misses the point and added that a gradualist approach of this kind may be the most effective antidote to the threat of price stability.

Separately, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) said on Monday that U.K. business confidence has turned positive this quarter for the first time in two years, with the Business Confidence Monitor showing a record rise in confidence from -28.2 to +4.8.

The economic calendar for Europe is relatively light, with only the Eurozone industrial new orders report due to be released in the session. Eurozone industrial new orders are forecast to rise 1.6% month-over-month in June following a 0.2% fall in May.

In corporate news, German chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly expressed regret at automaker General Motor Co.'s failure to choose a buyer for its German unit Adam Opel GmbH and said that the automaker needs to decide soon on the fate of the unit.

Reports said U.K.-based communications solutions and services provider BT Group plc. has closed its graduate recruitment program, as it continues to cut costs during these difficult economic conditions.

HSBC Holdings plc is to disclose plans to enter the lucrative European exchange traded fund market with its first launch, a fund tracking London's FTSE 100 index, due on Monday, the Financial Times reported.

Novartis AG announced that the European Commission, or EC, has approved Xolair (omalizumab) as add-on therapy for severe persistent allergic asthma in children age 6 to 11 years.

Biovail Corp. announced an agreement to buy the U.S. and Canadian rights to develop and commercialize Santhera Pharmaceuticals Holding AG's JP-1730/fipamezole for the treatment of Dyskinesia in Parkinson's Disease.

Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Co. announced Friday that it has secured an 87.4% interest in U.S. drugmaker Noven Pharmaceuticals Inc. through a tender offer.

Bovis Homes Group plc in its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2009, reported loss attributable to equity holders of parent of GBP 6.58 million or 5.5 pence per share, compared to profit of GBP 6.89 million or 5.7 pence per share last year.

On Friday, the European markets rose for the second straight session after a report showed that U.S. July existing home sales jumped more than forecast and U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the world is beginning to emerge from recession.

Speaking at a Kansas City Fed Conference in Wyoming, Bernanke said, After contracting sharply over the past year, economic activity appears to be leveling out, both in the United States and abroad, and the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 2.3% higher, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index rose 2.27%. Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 1.98%, France's CAC 40 index climbed 3.15% and Germany's DAX index surged up 2.86%.

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