European stocks opened with modest gains Monday as investors focussed on some upbeat data from Europe and China.
A private survey report released earlier in the day showed growth in China's services sector remained steady in July. The HSBC China Services Business Activity Index came in at 51.3 for the second consecutive month in July. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in economic activity and vice-versa.
Meanwhile, Spain's services sector showed signs of improvement. The country's purchasing managers' index climbed to a better-than-expected 48.5 in July, up from 47.8 in the previous month.
Stocks on the Move
Banking stocks were mostly on the higher side during early trades. London-base Lloyds Banking Group plc. soared over 3% after the bank's chief executive reportedly said he aims to start paying up to 70% of the bank's earnings in dividends within three years with a view to attract investors ahead of the government's stake.
Among others in the region, French lender Societe Generale SA moved up 1.2% while Credit Agricole SA added 1.5%.
But German banking giant Deutsche Bank AG slipped 0.4% and Commerzbank AG lost 1.4%.
Miners were trading with slim gains -- BHP Billiton Plc. was up 0.1%, Rio Tinto Plc. inched up 0.3% and Anglo American Plc. climbed over 1%.
In corporate news, British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc. said it has acquired a $2million covertible debt security in California based One Mainstream Inc. Shares of BSkyB were little changed, however.