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European stocks take off


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LONDON, England (CNN) -- European markets rose sharply Monday morning after Germany's Lufthansa put grounded planes back into service and prompted hopes that air travel is picking up.

London's FTSE 100 rose 1.3 percent to 4,099.9 and Frankfurt's Xetra Dax climbed 2 percent to 3,042.59, while the CAC 40 blue chip index in Paris added 1.4 percent to 3,032.22.

The pan-European FTSE Eurotop 300, a broader index of the region's largest stocks, was up 1.4 percent.

Lufthansa (LHA) rose 4.4 percent to 9.57 euros with Chief Executive Juergen Weber telling Reuters: "If nothing completely new and terrible happens then we have the worst behind us."

But Europe's third largest airline is still expected to make a loss this year, Weber said. (Full story)

Meanwhile shares in Europe's largest travel company TUI soared 7.9 percent to 12.00 euros after Chief Executive Michael Frenzel told the Die Welt newspaper that the company was making up for bookings lost during the war.

German stocks also made strong gains after retail sales data for April showed an increase of 1.7 percent -- the first rise in three months. (Full story)

The AEX index in Amsterdam rose 1.5 percent and Milan's MIB30 index gained 1 percent, while the SMI in Zurich climbed 1.8 percent.

In the U.S. on Friday, the major indexes hit their highest levels of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.6 percent, the Nasdaq composite rallied 1.3 percent, and the S&P 500 index surged 1.5 percent.

Wall Street was expected to open higher later on Monday.


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