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Banks drive gains for Europe; Repsol slides

Published: April 17, 2012 | 8:20 am
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Repsol drops after Argentine move to nationalize YPF

MADRID — European stock markets bounced higher early Tuesday, with earnings news lifting shares of Danone SA and banks rebounding from recent losses. Shares of Repsol SA tumbled on Argentina’s move to seize control of YPF SA.

The Stoxx Europe 600 XX:SXXP +0.51% rose 0.6% to 225.73, following a 0.3% rise in the prior session.

Economic data on the schedule for Europe includes the German ZEW indicator of investor sentiment, while a debt auction out of Spain will also be in focus.

Spain’s IBEX 35 index XX:IBEX +0.49% rose 0.8% to 7,267.90, helped by a rebound for banks that have been hard-hit recently. Shares of Banco Santander SA ES:SAN +1.68% STD +0.47% rose nearly 2%, and BBVA SA ES:BBVA +1.96% BBVA -0.29% gained 2.3%.

Shares of Spanish oil group Repsol SA ES:REP -6.18% REPYF -11.89% fell 5% in the wake of the Argentine government’s move to nationalize energy group YPF SA YPF -11.16% AR:YPFD -2.44% . YPF is majority-owned by Repsol. Read more on Argentina’s YPF move

Earnings news lifted the food sector, with Danone SA FR:BN +2.63% up 2% after the company confirmed its revenue expectations for 2012 as sales rose 7.6% for the first quarter.

The French CAC 40 index FR:PX1 +0.72% rose 0.9% to 3,236.66, lifted by a 3.4% rise for shares of retailer Carrefour SA FR:CA -0.90% , which was lifted to hold from sell at ING. Banks were also pushing the CAC 40 higher.

Also in the Europe food sector, shares of Nestle SA CH:NESN +0.89% NSRGY +0.98% rose 0.8%.

In retail, Marks & Spencer Group PLC UK:MKS -2.96% fell 2.9% after reporting fourth-quarter group sales rose 0.8%. The retailer is sticking to its full-year expectations but said, in the short term, the trading outlook “continues to be challenging.”

The FTSE 100 index UK:UKX +0.44% rose 0.5% to 5,692.71.

The German DAX 30 index DX:DAX +0.50% rose 0.5% to 6,654.71, with major banks bouncing back from recent losses. Deutsche Bank AG DE:DBK +1.31% rose 1.8%.

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