European shares drifted higher on Monday after New Year celebrations around much of the Asia region kept markets closed and investors on the sidelines. Britain's FTSE 100 added around 18 points my mid-morning while the region-wide benchmark FTSE Eurofirst 300 was little changed at 1.1660.5

Investors are looking to a raft of political risks this week including the ongoing corruption scandal in Spain and the looming parliamentary elections in Italy. In the meantime, Cypriots will go to the polls on 17 February in a vote that may determine the fate of its €17bn bailout negotiations.