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European stocks rise despite Ukraine situation

LONDON/HONG KONG -- Europe's main stock markets advanced on Monday as investors shrugged off news that Crimea had voted to break away from Ukraine and join Russia in a disputed referendum, dealers said.

In late morning deals, London's FTSE 100 climbed 0.43 percent to 6,555.77 points, boosted by British mobile phone giant Vodafone sealing a 7.2-billion-euro takeover of Spanish cable company Ono.

Elsewhere, Frankfurt's DAX 30 gained 0.64 percent to 9,114.35 points and the Paris CAC 40 added 0.61 percent to 4,241.90 compared with Friday's close.

“European equities have largely shrugged off the Crimean referendum news over the weekend with the help of some positive company news flow,” said CMC Markets trader Nicholas Dale-Lace.

“That the markets have made a positive start to the week does not detract from the threat of further unrest in Ukraine as attention now turns towards the Eastern border with Russia, and markets take stock to consider the impact of a protracted dispute that is unlikely to be settled anytime in the near future.”

An overwhelming 96.6 percent of voters on the mostly Russian-speaking peninsula chose to secede from Ukraine, according to final results from Sunday's referendum, which the Kremlin is accused of orchestrating.

There was international condemnation of the referendum, with the European Union saying it was “illegal and illegitimate” and the outcome would not be recognized.

“The result of the Crimean vote did not surprised anyone given the circumstances and the context and traders are waiting now what Europe and U.S. is going to do about it,” added VarenGold Bank analyst Anita Paluch.

Meanwhile on Monday, investors also focused on merger and acquisition activity in Europe.

Vodafone Expands in Europe

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