LONDON Dec 8 Italian banking shares surged
again on Thursday bringing their three-day gains to 20 percent
and putting them on track for the best week since at least 2009.
Italy's beleaguered banks extended their post-referendum
recovery after the European Central Bank extended its asset
purchases stoking a region-wide banking sector rally
The Italian banking index was last up more than
5 percent higher, with Banco Popolare di Milano and
Banco Popolare up more than 7 and the top performing
stocks on the STOXX 600 is afternoon trading.
Bearish bets on Italian banks put in place on expectations
that a crushing defeat for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in a
referendum on constitutional reform would spell trouble for the
country's banks have been unwound in recent sessions.
Italy's third-biggest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena
was last up 6.6 percent. The bank has asked the ECB
for more time to wrap up a 5 billion euro ($5.4 billion) rescue
plan that was thrown into doubt after Renzi said this week that
would step down as Prime Minister.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)