LONDON Dec 15 European shares rose slightly on
Thursday helped by gains in bluechip, global banks following the
U.S. Federal Reserve's interest rate hike overnight, while
growing corporate deal activity continued to underpin year-end
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was trading up 0.2
percent inching back towards an 11-month high.
BNP Paribas, up 3 percent, was the top boost on
the index with peers Societe Generale and Barclays
also up between 2 and 3 percent.
Shorter-dated U.S. Treasury yields surged on Wednesday, with
those on two-year notes climbing to their highest in more than
seven years after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for
the first time in a year and flagged more rate increases in
Higher yields are a boon to banks' profitability.
Also helping financials, Italian banks rose 2
percent and were on course for a third straight week of gains.
Italian banks have staged a rebound since the appointment of
Paolo Gentiloni as the country's prime minister on expectations
that a stable political environment would help ailing banks to
recapitalizes. Gentiloni won the backing of the fragmented
Senate on Wednesday, allowing his government to formally take
On the other end of the table, shares in French utility EDF
fell more than 12 percent, poised for their biggest
drop since June, after the company warned of lower earnings in
Mining shares, the year's best performers in Europe, also
lost ground with the sector index falling 1.2 percent on
a firmer dollar that generally makes commodities costlier for
other currency holders.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)