LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher on Monday, closing in on fresh six week highs, with Greece fears receding further as the country’s banks re-opened and with Dutch chemical firm OCI surging on merger talks.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.2 percent, close to its highest level since May.
Pre-market trading was marred by technical issues on Eurex, which prevented the trading of futures and options on the exchange.
Shares in euro zone banks rose 0.5 percent, the top STOXX Europe sectoral gainer. Greek banks are ready to open their branches across the country after a three-week shutdown, officials said, although trading shares in these lenders remains off-limits with the Athens Stock Exchange still closed.
Amsterdam-listed chemical company OCI NV rose 10 percent, the top gainer on the STOXX Europe 600, after confirming it is in advanced merger talks with U.S. fertilizer maker CF Industries Holdings Inc. (Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Lionel Laurent)