European lenders drive stocks up

European lenders pushed stocks to a two-month high yesterday, even as they pared gains in the final hour of trading amid a decline in miners and oil and gas companies.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.1% to 345.72 at the close of trading in London, after earlier jumping as much as 0.5%. The benchmark index gained 2.9% last week as Mario Draghi said the ECB needs to accelerate inflation and may broaden its asset-purchase programme, while China cut key interest rates for the first time since 2012. Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 Index rose 0.5% in London.

Banks in the Stoxx 600 advanced 1.3%, contributing the most to the gain. Banco Santander added 2.5%, while Societe Generale rose 2.1%. Spain’s IBEX 35 Index climbed 1.2% .



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