The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.7 percent to 263.17. The Stoxx 50 Index increased 0.9 percent to 2,489.86. The Euro Stoxx 50 Index (SX5E), a benchmark measure for nations using the euro, advanced 0.4 percent to 2,491.54.
Banco Santander SA (SAN) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA) : Spain’s biggest banks were among 15 financial firms downgraded by Standard & Poor’s, after the credit-ratings company reduced the nation’s grade last month. Banco Santander gained 0.3 percent to 6.48 euros. Banco Bilbao was unchanged at 7.14 euros.
Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) (DBK GY): David Bianco, among Wall Street’s most bullish stock forecasters when he was replaced last year at Bank of America Corp., was named chief U.S. equity strategist for the Frankfurt-based firm. The stock climbed 0.5 percent to 33.65 euros.
Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1) (DB1 GY): The exchange blocked from buying NYSE Euronext by European (SXXP) competition regulators this month posted a fourth-quarter profit amid lower costs and higher sales while announcing a stock buyback and dividend. The shares fell 0.1 percent to 48.79 euros.
L’Oreal SA (OR) : The world’s largest cosmetics maker said it’s confident of achieving sales and earnings growth this year after reporting a 7.7 percent increase in 2011 operating profit, beating analysts’ estimates. The shares rose 0.3 percent to 81.65 euros.