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Banks’ Surge Takes Europe’s Stock Rally Into 2nd Day; HSBC Rises

STOCKS RALLY

The optimism that swept through European equities continued as banks headed for their biggest two-day jump since 2011.

Italian lenders and Credit Suisse Group AG led the rally, climbing more than 6 percent after hitting record lows last week. HSBC Holdings Plc rose as it said it will keep its headquarters in the U.K. after considering a relocation to Hong Kong. Europe’s automakers also posted a strong rebound, helped by a weakening euro.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 2.5 percent at 8:19 a.m. in London, taking its two-day rebound to 5.5 percent. That would market its biggest jump since 2011 in such a period. U.S. index futures rose. The market is closed for a holiday on Monday.

European equities rallied the most in three weeks on Friday, after hitting their lowest prices since 2013, as banks, miners and energy producers surged at least 5.5 percent. Lenders have been particularly hit in the rout that took $8.4 trillion from global equities this year and the Stoxx 600 down as much as 17 percent. The index reached a valuation of 13.9 times estimated earnings on Friday, down from 17.4 in April, after a gauge tracking volatility expectations climbed to the highest level since August.

Despite the rout, strategists are largely bullish on European equities. They’re projecting a rebound of 23 percent from Friday through the end of the year on signs of an improving economy amid continued European Central Bank stimulus.

Benchmark stock indexes of Italy, Spain and Germany rallied more than 2 percent. Those all lost more than 16 percent this year through Friday, becoming some of the world’s worst performers among 93 equity indexes tracked by Bloomberg.

Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc rose 4.4 percent after the maker of Durex condoms and Nurofen painkillers reported fourth-quarter sales growth that beat analyst estimates as retailers stocked up on cold and flu remedies.

E.ON SE and RWE AG advanced more than 3 percent after people familiar with the matter said German lawmakers signaled they’re willing to have taxpayers share some of the expenses for disposing of nuclear waste.

Engie SA rose 1.8 percent after a report that its incoming chief executive officer is planning as much as 20 billion euros ($22 billion) of disposals. LafargeHolcim Ltd. added 2.6 percent after a report that JSW Group Chairman Sajjan Jindal said the company is in talks to buy Lafarge India assets.