European shares rebound awaiting eurozone action

European stock markets rebounded on Monday, helped by positive economic data from China and the prospect of progress this week over the eurozone debt crisis, notably regarding Greece and Spain.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies rose 0.51 percent to 5,822.97 points in late morning deals, Frankfurt's DAX 30 grew 0.84 percent to 7,293.26 points and in Paris the CAC 40 advanced 1.26 percent to 3,431.89.

Madrid's IBEX 35 index climbed 0.82 percent to 7,715.10 points, as Spain said it hoped EU leaders would make rapid progress at a summit this week to pave the way for a direct recapitalisation of the country's troubled banking system.

European stock markets had retreated on Friday, at the end of a week once more overtaken by Spanish debt strains and weak outlooks for the global economy.

In foreign exchange trading on Monday, the euro dipped to $1.2956 from $1.2958 late in New York on Friday. Gold prices slid to $1,745.65 an ounce on the London Bullion Market from $1,766.75 an ounce on Friday.

"We could be set for a game changing week in the eurozone," said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari trading group.

"Greece is expected to agree on 13.5 billion euros in spending cuts which should allow EU leaders to sign off the next bailout payment at the summit at the end of the week... Spain may also request a bailout this week."

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told Kathimerini daily on Sunday that the cuts could be approved by parliament "in a matter of days" after the European summit on October 18 that will discuss Greece's economic situation.

Also on Sunday, the curtains came down on IMF and World Bank meetings that were dominated by a gathering row over whether austerity or growth should come centre stage as the world economy seeks a reboot.

Thousands of protesters in Portugal and Spain meanwhile marched Saturday in fresh protests against the austerity measures their governments have imposed to tackle their debt crisis.

Portugal received a 78-billion-euro bailout in May 2011 to help it battle its debt crisis.

Neighbouring Spain's economy is in recession, with one in four workers unemployed. A heavy debt refinancing burden and high borrowing costs are pushing the country towards seeking a sovereign bailout.

On the company front Monday, shares in Royal Bank of Scotland dropped 0.63 percent to 269.10 pence after Spanish lender Santander pulled out of a £1.65 billion deal to buy 316 branches from the state-rescued British bank.

Santander said following the close of markets on Friday that it was withdrawing because it did not believe a deadline of February 2013 could be met to complete the sale ordered by the European Commission.

Shares in Santander rallied 1.95 percent to stand at 5.84 euros in Madrid trading on Monday.

Most Asian stock markets fell on Monday following a soft lead from Wall Street ahead of the weekend, while better-than-expected Chinese trade data failed to lift spirits as dealers awaited growth figures from Beijing.

China on Saturday said its exports rose 9.9 percent year-on-year in September to a record monthly high, a welcome bounce from the recent sharp slowdown in the country's key economic driver.

On Monday another batch of official figures showed Chinese inflation at 1.9 percent last month, slightly softer than 2.0 percent in August but in line with expectations.

But the main focus is on Thursday's release of Chinese gross domestic product data for the three months to the end of September, which will give a better idea of the state of the world's number two economy and main regional growth driver.

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