Erste at Four-Month High Leads Czech Rally on ECB: Prague Mover

Erste Group Bank AG (RBAG) advanced to the strongest in more than four months, leading Czech shares higher for a second day, on optimism the European Central Bank’s bond- buying program will contain the euro area’s debt crisis.

The Austrian lender jumped 5.9%, the most since June 29, to 433.5 koruna in Prague, its highest closing price since April 25. Share turnover today was more than four times the daily average in the past three months. The PX (PX) equity index, in which Erste has a 21 percent weighting, climbed 1.7 percent.

Banks and basic-resources companies led European shares up after ECB President Mario Draghi said yesterday policy makers agreed to a plan designed to cap most-indebted nation’s funding costs and prevent the financial crisis from spreading. Better- than expected U.S. jobs data and speculation that China will step up economic stimulus also drove demand for riskier assets.

“The ECB move has significantly reduced the risk of the euro area’s debt crisis getting much worse, raising investors’ appetite for riskier assets,” Jiri Simara, an analyst at Cyrrus AS brokerage in Brno, Czech Republic, wrote in a report today.

Erste has been the best performer in the 14-member PX gauge today and the most-traded stock, followed by New World Resources Plc (NWR) in terms of turnover. The biggest Czech producer of coking coal added 2.3 percent to 90 koruna as commodities rallied.

To contact the reporter on this story: Krystof Chamonikolas in Prague at kchamonikola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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