European shares finished up 2.5 percent.Banks were strong performers on hopes that the recession in top global economies was abating. Adding to that impression was news that Lowe’s, the second largest home improvement chain in the US, posted stronger-than-expected quarterly results. There were major gains by Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, Barclays and Commerzbank Lloyds Banking Group jumped 9.9 percent after confirming it will sell 4.5 billion euros worth of shares and its Chairman Victor Blank will step down. Energy stocks – including BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Repsol, Total and StatoilHydro – tracked oil prices which were up around three percent as violence in Africa’s top crude exporter Nigeria and a fire at a key US East Coast refinery revived concern about supplies.
Monday 18th May