Europe Markets: Italian stocks rally, driving Europe markets to a stronger start for 2017

European stocks traded higher on Monday, driven largely by gains for banks across the board and fresh economic data that showed signs of economic strength in Italy.

Volumes were expected to be thin as many traders remained out for an extended New Year’s break. Trading was shuttered in London and the U.S. on Monday. Both return to action on Tuesday.

After logging the first annual loss since 2011 — closing 1.2% lower for 2016 — the Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, +0.55% rose 0.6% to 363.47. Banks were a driver, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Bank sector FX7, +0.70% up 0.7%, but all sectors were contributing to the upbeat momentum on Monday, and gainers were outnumbering decliners.

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