LONDON Nov 23 European shares posted their best
weekly gain so far this year after rising for a fifth day on
Friday, boosted by strong German data and growing expectations
Greece will soon get the next dose of financial help.
Germany's BASF and Bayer led a rally
in chemical stocks after a German business morale index
surprised with its first rise in seven months, raising the
prospect that Europe's largest economy can regain some momentum.
Investors also welcomed suggestions by the Greek government
that the country's lenders were coming closer to an agreement on
the next tranche of aid, sending euro zone banks and the
euro higher in the afternoon.
"Market sentiment is positive," said a trader in Milan,
adding that people were betting on a deal on Greek support at a
meeting on Monday.
"I saw a few small buys from domestic funds on quality banks
like Intesa Sanpaolo or underperformers like Banca
Popolare di Milano, which is most interesting with a
view to a rebound."
Popolare di Milano rose 1.1 percent and Intesa closed up 1
percent, with the former extending a bounce from a three-month
trough hit on Wednesday.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index
provisionally closed 0.6 percent higher at 1,110.08 points,
taking its gains for the week to 4 percent.