(ADVISORY- Follow European and UK stock markets in real time on
the Reuters Live Markets blog on Eikon - see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets)
Adds details, updates prices after ECB decision)
* STOXX Europe 600 up 0.6 pct
* ECB cuts asset monthly asset purchases
* Banks, miners lead sectoral gainers
* Fingerprint sinks as cuts forecast
By Danilo Masoni and Atul Prakash
MILAN/LONDON, Dec 8 European shares rose on
Thursday, extending earlier gains as banks climbed further
following the European Central Bank's unexpected decision to cut
its monthly asset purchases.
The ECB move pushed euro zone bond yields broadly higher,
which in turn further boosted banking shares with Europe's STOXX
600 Bank index rising 2 percent.
Higher yields are seen helping reduce pressure on margins
for a sector which has been struggling to grow due to sluggish
economic growth and ultra low interest rates.
"The ECB announced today that it will begin tapering its
asset purchases ... in a clear sign that it is reaching the
limits of what it is willing to do under the bond buying
program," ONADA analyst Craig Erlam said in a note.
The ECB said it would cut its asset purchases to 60 billion
euros per month from next April from the current 80 billion
euros, adding asset buys will run until the end of 2017, or
longer if necessary.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.6 percent
to its highest since early September.
Across Europe, Italy's FTSE MIB index rose 1.3
percent to its highest since late May, supported by a 4.6
percent rise in its banking index to a five-month
Italian banks have risen strongly this week, with investors
betting that there could be an agreement to help rescue troubled
lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena, even though Prime
Minister Matteo Renzi resigned following a defeat in a
referendum over constitutional reform.
Monte dei Paschi rose for a third straight day and was last
up 6.8 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 by Renzi's resignation.
Miners were also in demand, with the regional index
rising 2.2 percent after metals prices rose on a softer U.S.
dollar and strong Chinese commodities import figures.
Elsewhere, shares in Swedish biometric technology firm
Fingerprint Cards fell 10 percent, the top decliner
in the STOXX Europe 600 index, after the company sharply cut its
2016 revenue forecast.
Bookmakers Ladbrokes Coral and William Hill
fell 5.2 percent and 7 percent respectively after The Times
reported a cross-party group of MPs would demand on Thursday
stricter controls on betting machines.
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)