29 Jan 2009

Banking rally pushes shares higher in Europe

7:26 am on 29 January 2009

European shares rose for a third consecutive session on Wednesday after a 50% surge in Lloyds Banking Group boosted the financial sector.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index ended 3.2 percent higher at 810.82 points. It is still down 2.6% to date this year.

Royal Bank of Scotland jumped 44%, Barclays gained 18.9%, BNP Paribas climbed 20.1%and Deutsche Bank advanced 22%.

Shares previously fell on fears about the threat of nationalisation in the sector.

Fortis rose 12.8% after the bank said it had reopened talks with the Belgian government and BNP over asset sales.

In Frankfurt, the DAX index ended at 4,518.72 points, up 195.3 or 4.52%.

In Paris, the CAC-40 index closed at 3,076.01 points, up 121.48 or 4.11%. The Swiss market index closed at 5,417.93 points, up 69.02 or 1.29%.

In Britain, the FTSE 100 ended up 100.79 points, 2.4%, at 4,295.20 points, having closed 0.4% lower on Tuesday.

Other markets

In Japan, the Nikkei gained 45.22 points, 0.6%, to 8,106.29 in choppy trade,. The index also rose by 4.9% on Tuesday.

In Hong Kong, markets were closed for the Lunar New Year holidays and will reopen on Thursday, Jan. 29. The Hang Seng Index ended down 0.6% or 79.39 points at 12,578.60 on Friday.

Shares in Australia rose 1.5%. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 51.5 points to 3,494.5. The All Ordinaries index lifted 42.8 points, or 1.26%, to 3435.1.

On the Sydney Futures Exchange, the March share price index futures contract was up 82 points at 3458 on a volume of 28,701 contracts.

The NZX 50 index closed up 12 points, 0.44%, at 2747, on turnover of $94 million.