Autos and banks help European shares to extend gains
* Pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 gains for 2nd day
* Monte dei Paschi surges on report of rescue plan
* Automobile stocks gain on positive Kepler note
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - European equities extended gains on Monday following funding plans from the ECB for the region's lenders, with autos gaining on the sector's positive outlook and Italian banks rising on the prospect of a possible rescue deal.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which had climbed 2.7 percent on Friday, was up 0.8 percent by midday, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index advanced 0.9 percent.
Germany's DAX rose 1.5 percent after briefly climbing back over the 10,000 points mark - a key level for many technical traders - for the first time since January.
On the sector level, the STOXX Europe 600 Automobiles and Parts index topped the leaderboard and was up 1.6 percent following a positive note from Kepler Cheuvreux, which upgraded its stance on companies such as Daimler, Peugeot, BMW and Continental.
"Demand so far this year has been better than expected in Europe, while volumes in the U.S. and China continue to hold up well. FY 2015 results have also been strong overall, resulting in positive relative earnings momentum for the sector and taking valuation multiples down sharply," they said. Continuación...