The pan-regional STOXX 600 index gained 1.2% to touch fresh February 2020 highs, with mining and travel & leisure stocks among the top gainers.
London’s blue-chip index rose 1.6% in its first day of trading with Britain outside the European Union‘s orbit.
While the hard-fought trade deal agreed late December set rules for industries such as fishing and agriculture, it did not cover Britain’s much larger finance sector, meaning automatic access to the EU‘s financial markets came to an end on Dec. 31.
Shares in UK banks such as Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and Natwest traded marginally lower.
Germany’s DAX gained 1.1% to trade below all-time highs, while France’s CAC 40 was up 1.3%.