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Europe Markets: Italian stocks lead Europe markets higher as Merkel plots exit; banks, auto shares climb

Autos and banks were driving strong gains for Europe’s main stock gauge on Monday, as a dismal month for equities nears an end.

A big bump for heavyweight HSBC Holdings PLC and some relief that Italian debt wasn’t downgraded to junk status by a major ratings agency, underpinned the market uptrend. And reports that China could cut car-tax purchases sent auto stocks soaring.

What are markets doing?

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.90% shot up 1.5% after Friday’s 0.8% drop and a 2.5% weekly fall. For the month, the index is down 6.7%.

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