(ANSA) - Milan, March 14 - Major European stock markets
rallied on Thursday as a two-day EU summit dedicated to growth
kicked off in Brussels, the European Central Bank said it was
optimistic about the second half of 2013, and Wall Street
rallied to news that US unemployment rolls hit their lowest
level in five years.
The STOXX Europe 600 index reached it highest level in 4.5
The Milan bourse outshone other European stock exchanges,
while the difference between the Italian and Spanish spreads
widened to 21 basis points compared to just 10 points on
The spread between the interest rates on Italian and German
bonds closed at 317 basis points, with yield on Italian 10-year
bonds at 4.64%.
The FTSE MIB rallied 2.45% to 16,131 points, led by
insurance giant Generali, whose stock soared 9.35% to 13.3 euros
on trading volume that tripled the daily average.
Traders embraced a strong operating result at the insurer
and CEO Mario Greco's message that it was scouring accounts.
Generali's biggest stake holder, the Italian bank
Mediobanca, also benefited, as the lender's stock rose 5.99% to
However, Italian bank stocks rose in general on Thursday,
except for BPM, which slipped on news of a possible capital
increase. Meanwhile Telecom stock gained 5.57% on Fitch's
confirmation of its BBB rating.
Madrid's Ibex 35 index closely followed Milan, rising 1.88%
to 8,657.90 points. Frankfurt's DAX index rose 1.1%, while the
Paris CAC 40 and London's FTSE-100 climbed 0.9% and .74%