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Market Update

European Markets Log Gains

European indexes were higher early Monday amid sustained optimism after Lawrence Summers withdrew from consideration to succeed Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

A former aide of U.S. president Barack Obama, Summers was widely considered as a strong contender to replace Bernanke. However, on Sunday, president Obama confirmed that he had accepted Summers' decision to withdraw his candidature for the post of the Fed's next chairman, paving the way for his main rival Janet Yellen.

Yellen is considered by many analysts as less aggressive than Summers, and markets are hoping she would prefer a slower and gradual reduction of the Fed's monthly asset purchase program.

Meanwhile, concerns surrounding the Syrian conflict also eased further, adding to the positive news. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian foreign minister reportedly struck an agreement on locating, securing and destroying Syria's chemical weapons of destruction.

Investors were also looking forward to an address by president Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank later in the day.

Among the indexes, London's FTSE 100 gained 1%, the CAC 40 Paris also rose 1% while the DAX Frankfurt added 1.2% at 9:40 a.m. London time.

Stocks on the Move

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

Among miners, top miner BHP Billiton Plc. was up 1.5% in London while close-rival Rio Tinto plc. enhanced 1.1%. Anglo American Plc. added 1.3%.

Among banks, London-listed Barclays Plc. advanced 1.8% while Lloyds Banking Group Plc. tacked on around a percent.

German banks Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG climbed over 1% each while French lenders Societe Generale SA and Credit Agricole SA rallied around 1.5% each.

In corporate news, French local media reported Air France could slash more jobs than it had ealier indicated in a cost-cutting plan. Air France is the French arm of Franco-Dutch Air France KLM. Shares of Air France-KLM were trading up 2.1%.

Meanwhile, in London, oil and gas services provider Petrofac climbed 1.1% after the company signed a $120 million deal with Malaysia-based Petronas for the operation and management of two training facilities.

Elsewhere in the region, Swedish clothing retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB bounced 3.6% after the company's sales at stores open for at least a year rose 4% on the year in August.