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Europe: Banking shares extend winning streak

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[MILAN] European shares opened higher on Thursday as banks extended a winning streak after the US Federal Reserve cleared capital return plans from big banks and tech stocks recovered as a bad month drew to an end.

Well-received results from firms including fashion retailer H&M and DS Smith also provided support to the broader market, helping the pan-European STOXX index rise 0.3 per cent and UK's FTSE gain 0.7 per cent.

Banks rose for a fourth straight session as news from the Fed added steam to a rally already fuelled this week by hawkish central bank signals. Among the banks that were given the Fed green light were also US units of Deutsche Bank and Santander, up 2.3 and 1.3 per cent respectively.

The Germany heavyweight lender was also supported by news that a US federal judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing it of concealing major deficiencies in its anti-money laundering controls as part of a US$10 billion Russian trading scheme.

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Tech stocks rose 0.5 per cent, joining a global rebound in the sector but remained on track to end first negative month in eight. Europe's biggest software maker SAP rose 0.6 per cent after solid results at US peer Progress Software.

REUTERS

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