Rising bank shares lift European stock markets

Rising bank shares have lifted European stock markets amid hopeful economic signals, results from US banks and a report suggesting the ECB was providing more loans to banks than had been thought.Rising bank shares lift European stock marketsSuccessful French and Spanish bond auctions and falling US unemployment claims also helped improve sentiment.

Bank of America and Morgan Stanley’s results were better than expected.

Commerzbank shares rose 15% after it said it would be able to increase its capital without government help. Also in Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank rose 8%.

In London, Barclays shares rose 10% while Lloyds and RBS were both up 9%.

In Paris, Societe Generale rose 13%, Credit Agricole rose 9% and BNP Paribas gained 8%.

The soaring bank shares helped Europe’s benchmark indexes to strong closes, with the FTSE 100 ending up 0.7% at 5,741 points, its highest closing level since the start of August.

The Cac 40 in Paris closed up 2% while the Dax in Frankfurt gained 1%.

Some of the gains in banking shares were sparked by a report from Morgan Stanley, which said that the European Central Bank was flooding the eurozone banking system with even more cheap loans than had previously been thought.

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