Europe Stocks Jump With Banks as ECB Changes Asset-Buying Rules

  • Italy’s FTSE MIB set for best weekly gain since 2011
  • DAX breaks above 11,000 level for first time in a year

European Stocks Complete Full Week of Gains

Banks boosted European stocks to their highest level since January after the European Central Bank altered the parameters of its asset-purchase program in a move that may boost lender profitability. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 1.2 percent at the close, for a fourth daily increase.

Italy’s FTSE MIB Index and France’s CAC 40 Index extended gains in bull-market territory, while Germany’s DAX Index closed above 11,000 for the first time in a year. Spain’s IBEX 35 Index jumped 2.1 percent for the biggest gains among developed markets.

Gains exceeding 10 percent in four sessions pushed the Stoxx 600 Banks Index to an 11-month high and its most overbought level in almost three years. President Mario Draghi said the ECB will buy assets yielding less than its deposit rate of minus 0.4 percent, a move that’s steepening the so-called yield curve.

  • The FTSE MIB is on track for its biggest weekly advance in five years, after lagging European benchmarks for most of the year.
  • The ECB extended its asset-purchase program beyond March, while lowering the pace of monthly purchases from April to December. More on today’s ECB decisions here.
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