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Market Update

European Stocks Higher At Open

European bourses were trading higher early Monday as investors eyed a key meeting of euro-zone finance leaders in Brussels later today.

Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.7% at 8:16 a.m. London time, France's CAC 40 Paris rallied 1% while Germany's DAX Frankfurt gained 0.9%.

Euro zone leaders are expected to meet in Brussels later today to decide whether or not to release the latest tranche of financial aid for Greece.

It will also be the first time Portugal's newly-elected finance minister Maria Luis Albuquerque will be attending a eurogroup meeting. Her presence is keenly watched especially after her appointment last week led to a political unrest in the country.

Experts fear such political instability could derail Lisbon's efforts to leave its 78-billion euro bailout program on time in June 2014 and return to debt financing in the markets.

In economic data, official reports released today said German exports slumped in May following good sales in April.

Stocks on the Move

Financials and resources stocks were trading broadly higher across the region.

Among banks, BNP Paribas SA, Credit Agricole SA and Societe Generale SA were up around 1.7% each, while German lender Deutsche Bank AG added 1.5%. Commerzbank AG, however, slipped 1%.

In London, Llyods Banking Group Plc. rose 2.3% after reports said Singapore's sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd. has sought preliminary approval from the U.K. government to purchase a $6.7 billion stake in the London-based bank. 

Among others, global banking giant HSBC Holdings Plc. added a little over 1% while Barclays Plc. bounced 2%.

Mining stocks climbed on the resource-heavy benchmark FTSE index. BHP Billiton Plc. tacked on a percent while close-rival Rio Tinto Plc. gained 1.4%.

Oil giant BP Plc. was up 1.6% while Royal Dutch Shell improved 1.3% as oil futures ticked higher amid ongoing unrest in Egypt.

In corporate news, French lenses manufacturer Essilor International SA said it has acquired a 50% stake in Singapore based sun lens producer Polycore Optical for an undisclosed amount. Shares of the French company were up 0.6% in response.

Meanwhile, exporters in Germany rallied despite lacklustre trade data. Automotive giant Daimler AG rose 2.2% while technology company Siemens AG gained around a percent.