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Europe: Shares touch 2-week high as euro weakens, banks rally

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[MILAN] European shares rose on Thursday to their highest level in two weeks, helped by weakness in the euro and further boosted by a rally in bank sector stocks.

The euro fell to a four-month low against the US dollar after the European Central Bank cooled talk of any withdrawal of its monetary stimulus after deciding as expected to keep rates unchanged.

Banks were the biggest sectoral gainer with a rise of 1.3 per cent. Deutsche Bank rose 3.8 per cent after German business monthly Manager Magazin said sovereign wealth funds from Qatar and Abu Dhabi and a Chinese investor could buy a 25 per cent stake in the lender.

Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays rose 3.5 and 3.2 per cent respectively, helped by results from US banks, especially in the Fixed Income, Currency and Commodity (FICC) trading operations.

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The pan-European Stoxx 600 index ended up 0.2 per cent. The index remains down 5.8 per cent so far this year.

Shares in German engineering company GEA tumbled 20.2 per cent after the firm slashed its profit guidance for this year.

Shares in British engineering company Keller and engineering solutions company Senior also dived after both companies issued profit warnings.

Shares in Nestle dipped after the Swiss food group cut its sales outlook.

However, Lufthansa jumped 7.9 per cent after raising its profit guidance, lifting the shares of other airlines such as Air France KLM.

REUTERS

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