European equities rise as oil stocks, Italian banks advance
* FTSEurofirst 300 index up 1.2 percent
* Oil stocks index top sectoral gainer
* Italian banks surge on likely state support (ADVISORY- Reuters plans to replace intra-day European and UK stock market reports with a Live Markets blog on Eikon (see cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets for site in development). Adds closing prices)
By Atul Prakash and Danilo Masoni
LONDON/MILAN, April 8 (Reuters) - European equities rebounded on Friday as Italian banks rallied and energy stocks advanced, although a pan-European index was headed for its fourth straight week of losses.
The STOXX Oil and Gas sub-index rose 3.5 percent to lead gains among sectors, as encouraging economic data from the United States and Germany helped oil prices to rally. Hopes that global oversupply could be ending helped as well.
Shares in BP, Total and Eni rose 3.3 to 4.3 percent.
Italian banks surged, with UniCredit gaining 9.7 percent, the biggest advance in the FTSEurofirst 300 index on hopes that the government will soon offer a plan to set up a fund to buy bad loans and plug capital shortfalls at banks.
Shares in UniCredit, Italy's biggest bank by assets, also got some support from optimism over a cash call at smaller rival Popolare Vicenza, which UniCredit is guaranteeing Continuación...