Milan bourse leads gains as Cyprus worries fade
European markets perform well except for London20 March, 19:36
Trading on the Cyprus stock exchange was suspended for a second day as politicians hurriedly tried to put together a second bailout proposal after an EU offer which called for banks to tax deposits was rejected.
Italy's financials-heavy FTSE-MIB index led the European gains, closing up 2.2% at 16,015.98, helped by banking stocks.
Leading gainers in the financials was BPM, up 11.11%, which posted positive fourth-quarter results and whose restructuring plan was greeted with enthusiasm by the market.
Bper closed up 5.86%, followed by Banco Popolare (+4.49%), Mediobanca (+4.73%), Intesa Sanpaolo (+3.43%) and UniCredit (+3.95%).
Italian media giant Mediaset also ended the day on a high (+5.51%) after Goldman Sachs raised its view on the stock to ''neutral'' from ''sell''.
France's CAC 40 followed, gaining 1.43% at 3,829.56, while Spain's IBEX 35 went up 1.15% at 8,416.30. Germany's DAX trailed gainers edging up 0.68% to close at 8,001.97.
London FTSE 100 ended the day slightly lower (-0.13% at 6,432.70) after Chancellor George Osborne warned of risks that the country's economy would grow much less than previously expected.
Meanwhile, the spread between Italy's 10-year government bond and the German equivalent - an important indicator of investors' confidence in the Italian economy - dropped Wednesday, closing at 324 basis points from Tuesday's 337 points.