By Carla Mozee, MarketWatch
An earlier version of this report misstated the timeframe of an expected interest rate rise by the European Central Bank. The report has been corrected.
European stocks rose Thursday, as bank shares keyed off a global rise in bond yields, after European Central Bank officials indicated they’ll start talking about exiting the central bank’s massive bond-buying program.
How markets are performing
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -1.12% rose 0.4% to 388.57, with the financial sectors leading all groups higher.
Spanish and Italian stocks gained the most. In Madrid, the IBEX 35 /zigman2/quotes/210597995/delayed XX:IBEX -1.80% climbed 1.3% to 9,922.70, and in Milan, the FTSE MIB index /zigman2/quotes/210598024/delayed IT:I945 -1.43% picked up 1.2% to 22,055.80.
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -1.12% was down 0.1% at 7,717.61, turning lower after a 0.5% rise at the open. A technical glitch delayed the start of trade at the London Stock Exchange by an hour.
The euro /zigman2/quotes/210561242/realtime/sampled EURUSD +0.1661% bought $1.1826, rising from $1.1775 late Wednesday in New York. The shared currency has been pushing higher after ECB officials indicated policy makers will use their June 14 policy meeting to discuss the end of the central bank’s quantitative-easing program .
What’s driving markets
Bank stocks were notable gainers, drawing the Stoxx Europe 600 Bank Index /zigman2/quotes/210599339/delayed XX:SX7P -1.99% up 1.3%, adding to a rise 0.7% in the prior session. On Wednesday, a climb in the U.S. 10-year Treasury note yield /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y -0.66% guided a rally in U.S. financial stocks, helping push U.S. markets higher.
Higher bond yields can help lift bank profits, as they can widen the spread between the return on longer-term assets, such as loans, and the cost of shorter-term liabilities.
Investors sold eurozone and other global bonds, sending yields up, on Wednesday after ECB policy makers signaled the central bank will discuss the schedule for winding down its €2.5 trillion ($2.94 trillion) program of bond buying, or quantitative easing, at its next meeting.
The ECB will gather on June 14 in Riga, Lativa. Markets are pricing in a 90% chance of an interest-rate hike by July 2019, according to Reuters .