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Erste Jumps Most in Five Months, Leads Czech Rally: Prague Mover

Erste Group Bank AG of Austria rose the most in five months, leading Czech shares higher, after the European Union moved closer to containing its financial crisis.

The stock climbed 6.7 percent to 381 koruna at the close of trading in Prague, the steepest gain since Jan. 26, paring its losses this quarter to 11 percent. The PX index of 14 equities, in which Erste has a 20 percent weighting, added 2.3 percent today, also the most in five months, to 900.90.

Banks and mining companies led European shares higher as oil and Spanish bonds rallied after leaders reached an agreement that opened the way to bank recapitalization in Spain, easing concern that the debt crisis will spread through the continent. The meeting, which continues today, approved a 120 billion-euro ($151 billion) plan to promote growth in the EU.

“The long-awaited summit is evolving surprisingly well” after “politicians damped markets’ expectations in the past days,” Tomas Mencik, a stock analyst at Cyrrus AS brokerage in Brno, Czech Republic, wrote in an e-mail to clients today.

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