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MarketPulse Europe: Italian Banks Surge After Budget Breakthrough

Investing.com - Italian bank stocks were among the strongest performers in European midday trade on Wednesday, as investors piled in to the sector after Rome and Brussels announced a new deal over Italy's contested 2019 budget.

"Great satisfaction for the result achieved," Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said in a brief statement, signaling an end to weeks of wrangling that had spooked investors.

The European Commission had previously rejected Rome's 2019 budget because it reverses a commitment to reduce borrowing made by the previous government.

The FTSE Italia All Share Banks was up 3.5% in Milan by 6:40AM ET (11:40 GMT), on track for its biggest daily gain since January 2014.

Unicredit (MI:CRDI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) were the top gainers, up 3.8% and 3.5% respectively, while Banco Bpm (MI:BAMI), the country's third-largest bank, surged 3.4%.

Smaller lenders UBI Banca (MI:UBI) and BPER Banca (MI:EMII) were also higher, gaining nearly 3% apiece.

The strong gains in Italian banks lifted the broader European financial sector, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 Banks rising about 1%.

Europe's banking sector has dropped almost 26% so far this year.

-- Reuters contributed to this report

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