Europe Shares Rally Amid Greek Polls, Bankia 24% Down

Big 5

Most European stock markets rallied on Monday, with resource firms in the lead, as investor risk appetite was boosted after polls in Greece pointed to a conservative victory ahead of next month’s elections.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index (XX:SXXP) +0.37% rose 0.7% to 244.22. Markets in the U.S. are closed for the Memorial Day holiday.

Spanish bank Bankia SA (ES:BKIA) -23.50% dropped the most in the index, off 23.7%, after the bank late Friday asked the government for 19 billion euros ($24 billion) as part of a bailout plan. Other Spanish banks followed lower and Banco Popular Español SA (ES:POP) -4.43% shed 2.9% and Bankinter SA (ES:BKT) -4.16% lost 3%.

The IBEX 35 index (XX:IBEX) -1.02% trailed most other European indexes and was off 0.6% at 6,508.90.

For the broader European stock markets, investors moved into a risk-on mode after weekend reports showed Greece’s conservative New Democracy had swung to a first a place in polls ahead of the June election, paving way for a possible government formation with the socialist party Pasok. Both parties back the terms of the bailout reform agreed with its creditors.

Resource firms provided the most support, tracking commodity prices higher.

In London, heavyweight miner Rio Tinto PLC (UK:RIO) +1.99% RIO -1.74% gained 2.6%, while Vedanta Resources PLC (UK:VED) +1.45% rose 1.9%. Those gains helped lift the FTSE 100 index (UK:UKX) +0.61% 0.8% to 5,393.32.

Among energy firms, BG Group PLC (UK:BG) +0.47% took on 1.1%, BP PLC (UK:BP)  0.04% BP +0.34% added 0.6% and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (UK:RDSA) +0.30% (UK:RDSB) +0.53% RDS.A -0.30% RDS.B 0.00% moved 0.8% higher.

In France, oil group Total SA (FR:FP) +0.75% TOT +0.30% rose 0.7%, providing support to the CAC 40 index (FR:PX1) +0.50% up 0.9% to 3,072.89.

Steelmaker ArcelorMittal (FR:MT) -0.09% advanced 2.2% after HSBC upgraded the stock to neutral from underweight.

The German DAX 30 index (DX:DAX) +0.72% rallied 1.3% to 6,421.99, with ThyssenKrupp AG (DE:TKA) +2.73% up 2.6% and HeidelbergCement AG (DE:HEI) +1.78% 2.7% higher.

 

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