By Scott Kanowsky
Investing.com -- European stocks opened broadly higher to touch a two-week high on Monday, following on from gains made in Asia and a late-week rally on Wall Street, as concerns eased that aggressive central bank actions may spark a wider economic downturn.
As of 04:11 EST (0811 GMT), Europe's key STOXX 600 index was trading 1.24% higher at 418.02. The increase comes after the index had its best day in more than three months on Friday, closing up by 2.6%.
This bump up in European equity markets comes amid recent fears that rising inflation could prompt central banks to tighten monetary policy and, in turn, potentially trigger a wider recession. But weak U.S. economic data recently has led some investors to rethink how aggressively global policymakers - and the Federal Reserve, in particular - will raise borrowing costs to combat soaring prices.
The topic will be among the big issues at the European Central Bank's three-day forum in Portugal this week. Central bank watchers will be keeping an eye out for clues on how the ECB plans to curb inflation but also engineer a so-called "soft landing" for the wider economy.
Meanwhile, these economic worries and the war in Ukraine will also top the agenda of a Group of Seven summit in Germany, which kicked off on Sunday.
In corporate news, Amsterdam-listed shares in Prosus (OTC: PROSF ) surged after the technology investor's South African parent dropped its vow not to sell stock in China's Tencent (OTC: TCEHY ). The proceeds from the move will be used to help fund a major share buyback program.
Intesa Sanpaolo (OTC: ISNPY ) also jumped following a decision by Italy's largest lender to slash the scale of a share buyback plan this year.
Meanwhile, Credit Suisse (SIX: CSGN ) will likely be in the spotlight today as Swiss judges are set to rule on whether the Swiss bank failed to prevent money laundering linked to an alleged cocaine trafficking gang.
Elsewhere, oil prices are little changed as traders await news from the ongoing G7 meeting and a gathering later this week of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, known as OPEC+.
The G7 leaders are likely to seek further ways to cut Russia's ability to fund its war in Ukraine, which could include more moves against Moscow’s oil and gas sector, and potentially also its gold exports.
OPEC+, which includes Russia, is expected to stick to its previously announced plan to boost output by 648,000 barrels a day in July and by the same amount in August.
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