European shares lifted by surge in Italian banks
* Rise in bank stocks lifts European stock markets
* Monte dei Paschi surges on report of rescue plan
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - European shares rose on Monday as funding plans from the European Central Bank for the region's lenders buoyed markets, while Italian banking stocks surged on the prospect of a possible rescue deal.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had climbed 2.7 percent on Friday, was up 1 percent while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also advanced 1.2 percent.
Germany's DAX also rose 1.9 percent to climb back over the 10,000 points mark - a key level for many technical traders - for the first time since January.
Analysts said euro zone banks in the so-called "peripheral" nations of Italy, Spain and Portugal were continuing to rally on the ECB's plans for a new round of cheap funding for the sector.
"We believe there is enough value in the sector for continued performance on central bank stimulus - with peripheral banks likely to lead the way," said RBC Europe analyst Robert Noble.
Shares in Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena rose more than 10 percent, with traders citing speculation that state holding Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) might intervene in a government-sponsored rescue of the troubled Italian bank. Continuación...