Zions Bancorp and Regions Financial Corp. led gains in the KBW Bank Index after a bigger-than-estimated jump in payrolls signaled an improving U.S. economy.
Zions, the Salt Lake City-based lender, climbed 4.1 percent to $29.40 at 11:49 a.m. in New York, the most intraday since July. Birmingham, Alabama-based Regions rose 4 percent to $9.63, its largest gain since June. The 24-company index increased 2.8 percent.
U.S. employers added 204,000 workers to payrolls in October, surpassing the 120,000-employee median estimate of 91 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The figures indicate companies adhered to hiring plans and that the world’s largest economy weathered the impact of a 16-day government shutdown.
“It is largely based on that jobs number,” R. Scott Siefers, an analyst at Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP, said in a phone interview. “The group has underperformed the last few months, so there’s an element of catch up, and anything that would show some sort of strength in the economy is good.”