By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- European stock markets ended mostly higher on Monday, with the benchmark index extending gains into an eighth straight day, as Akzo Nobel NV and Royal Philips NV rallied after upbeat earnings reports.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index added 0.3% to close at 319.54, building on a 0.8% gain from Friday.

Shares of Akzo Nobel (AKZOY) jumped 6.6% after the paints and coatings firm said it returned to profit in the third quarter.

Royal Philips (PHG) climbed 5.3% after the electronics giant said net profit more than doubled in the third quarter, mainly due to lower operating costs.

On a more downbeat note, Hugo Boss AG dropped 2.1%, TOD'S SpA lost 2.7% and Luxottica Group SpA fell 2.6% after Goldman Sachs cut the three luxury-goods companies to sell from neutral.

Apart from earnings releases in Europe, investors looked to the U.S. for data, where the National Association of Realtors said sales of previously owned U.S. homes fell a seasonally adjusted 1.9% in September because of higher prices and rising mortgage rates.

Later in the week a flurry of data releases from the U.S. are due, after they were delayed by the government shutdown that ended last week. On Tuesday, the much-anticipated nonfarm-payrolls report from September will come out, along with the unemployment rate.

U.S. stock traded mostly lower on Wall Street on Monday.

"After all the political noise of the past month, this week looks set to see macro and fundamental drivers come back with a bang as we (finally) have September's nonfarm payrolls on Tuesday. We also see more than a quarter of S&P 500 companies report earnings, whilst European earnings season gathers pace," analysts at Deutsche Bank said in a note.

"After last week's impressive rallies, it will be interesting to see how markets manage this change of focus and the persistent data flow. On top of this, each data point will be analyzed with an eye not only to what they mean for underlying economic strength but also for what each implies for the time schedule of [Federal Reserve] tapering," they added.

Europe movers

In Europe, Germany's DAX 30 index closed marginally higher at 8,867.22, continuing its record run. France's CAC 40 index lost 0.2% to 4,276.92, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.5% at 6,654.20.

Italy's FTSE MIB index ended slightly lower at 19,262.69, as the country's three main trade unions said they will hold strikes and protests against the government's 2014 budget plan.

Shares of Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS) slid 5.3% in London after reports that J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) are close to agreeing to multibillion-dollar settlements with the Federal Housing Finance Agency over boom-era house loans. RBS was one of the biggest sellers of mortgage-backed securities to housing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the financial crisis.

Additionally, Chancellor George Osborne told the Daily Telegraph that the government could decide to split the bank within a matter of weeks.

Other banks were also the decline, with shares of Deutsche Bank AG (DB) down 1.5% and BNP Paribas SA 1% lower.

On a more upbeat note, shares of SAP AG climbed 4.8% in Frankfurt after the business-software firm said profit jumped 23% in the third quarter.

J Sainsbury PLC rose 0.6% to 3.97 pounds ($6.41), after Deutsche Bank raised the price target on the supermarket chain to GBP4.25 pounds from GBP3.70.

Outside the major indexes, Swiss biotech firm Actelion Ltd. gained 5.9% after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late Friday approved its new key lung drug, Opsumit.

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