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Market Update

European Markets Extend Rally, Italian Banks in Focus

Author: Lucy Stoeva
Last Update: 1:16 PM ET March 15 2016

4:00 PM Frankfurt, Germany –European markets extended three-day rally on the back of financial and resource stocks. Energy shares turned down after Iran reiterated its commitment to increase production.

European market indexes extended rally after the latest stimulus steps from the central bank in the region and speculators bid up banks and resources stocks on the hopes of additional monetary steps from Chinese regulators.

Banks in Italy extended three-day rally on the hopes that the Italian government may intervene and rescue Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena.

Banca Monte stock gained 8%, while Banco Popolare SC gained 2%. Elsewhere in Europe, Banco Popular Español added 1.8% and Deutsche Bank rose 0.7%.

Mining shares soared, with Glencore and Anglo American added more than 6% each, despite a report for a slowdown in industrial production in China, a leading importer of industrial metals.

Chinese industrial production grew 5.4 % in January and February from a year ago, but at a slower pace than the 5.9% rise in December, according to data released by the government.

The data raised hopes for more stimulus by the Chinese government, which has already adopted stimulus policies and, most recently, cut bank reserves by 0.5% in February.

The energy sector, however, turned south after the latest comments from Iran dampened hopes for joint production cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC countries.

Iran''s oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Sunday the country is not interested in limiting output until it gets back to pre-sanction levels of four million barrels a day, which is twice the current production level.

Brent crude oil futures fell 2.87% to $39.23 and WTI crude oil tumbled 4.21% to $36.88.

Auto makers benefited from the improved industry outlook and the weaker euro.

Volkswagen advanced 1.1%, Daimler added 1.5%, and BMW climbed 1.4%.

The euro slid 0.5% against the dollar to 1.1102.

In Germany, the conservative party, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, lost the regional elections in three states to the Alternative for Germany, which has less immigrant-friendly policy.

The FTSE 100 index gained 31.77, or 0.52%, to 6,171.56, while the DAX index advanced 157.86, or 1.61%, to 9,988.99.

In Paris, the CAC 40 index rose 11.33, or 0.25%, to 4,504.12.

Aberdeen Asset Management soared 7% to 289.2 pence following several analyst upgrades. The company also confirmed that it will open an office in the Abu Dhabi Global Market by the end of 2016.

Cellectis SA inched down 0.5% to €22.48 ahead of the earnings release of the biopharmaceutical company after the market close today.

Intercontinental Hotel Group Plc rose 4.5% to 2,850 pence on increasing consolidation in the sector and reported interest from China’s Anbang Insurance Group to acquire Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. for around $6.5 billion.

London Stock Exchange Group Plc added 0.35% to 2,879 pence on a newspaper report that Deutsche Boerse may raise its takeover bid for the stock exchange operator.

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Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc