June 11, 2018 / 7:39 AM / 10 days ago

Italian and European bank shares jump on minister's euro promise

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LONDON, June 11 (Reuters) - European banking stocks and Italian shares jumped on Monday after the new Italian economy minister promised to keep the country in the euro, dissipating investors’ fears of a euro zone break-up and boosting sentiment after a fraught G7 summit.

Euro zone banks rose 2.1 percent, boosting the pan-European STOXX 600 by 0.4 percent while Italy’s FTSE MIB gained 2 percent and Spain’s IBEX 0.9 percent.

Italian bank stocks climbed 2.2 percent, on track for their best day in more than a year as government bonds rallied, with relieved investors buying back into Italian assets after economy minister Giovanni Tria vowed on Sunday to stay in the euro and cut debt levels.

Italian banks Unicredit, Banco BPM and Intesa Sanpaolo were the top boosts to the European index, up 4.4 to 4.8 percent.

Mergers and acquisition news drove the biggest moves in individual stocks.

Top of the STOXX 600 was Inmarsat, surging 12.5 percent to a five-month high after it rejected a takeover offer from U.S. firm Echostar.

Bid speculation over the British satellite company had driven the shares up on Friday but the company’s confirmation came only after the market had closed.

Ocado shares soared 6.6 percent, the top London gainer, after Bernstein analysts gave the British online grocer a double upgrade to “outperform”. The stock is already up 152 percent this year. (Reporting by Helen Reid; editing by David Stamp)

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