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Feb. 15, 2019, 10:25 a.m. EST

European bank stocks rally as ECB considers restarting stimulus mechanism

European banks rallied on Friday after European Central Bank executive board member Benoit Coeure said a new targeted longer-term refinancing operation, or TLTRO was possible, according to reports. "There might be scope for another TLTRO," Coeure said, according to Reuters. The TLTRO are essentially cheap loans provided by the ECB, that served to temporarily calm the eurozone debt crisis early in 2012. Coeure also characterized the eurozone's inflation path as shallow, meaning the central bank would have to adapt. The Stoxx Europe 600 Banks Index climbed some 2% on the back of the remarks. The biggest gainers in the index were Italian Banco BPM SpA (MIL:IT:BAMI) and German Comerzbank Ag (ETR:XE:CBK) , which gained 4.9% and 4.7% respectively.

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