European shares climb to 4-week highs as financial stocks rally
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 2.2 percent
* KBC and ING lifted by Goldman Sachs upgrade
* French group SEB rises after WMF acquisition
* Concerns remain over possible future U.S rate hikes (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 Sudip Kar-Gupta and Danilo Masoni
LONDON/MILAN, May 24 (Reuters) - European shares rose to their highest point in almost 4 weeks on Tuesday as firmer financial stocks lifted the region's equity markets.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 and STOXX 600 indexes rose 2.2 and 2.3 percent respectively, extending earlier gains helped by a weakening euro and a reversal of crude oil prices into positive territory.
Sentiment was also underpinned by comments from European Central Bank supervisory chief Daniele Nouy, who said the bank was working on new proposals for non-performing loans that remain one of the biggest problems for the region's economy.
The STOXX Europe 600 Banks Index outperformed with a 3.5 percent rise. KBC and ING climbed 5 and 3.9 percent respectively after Goldman Sachs upgraded them both to "buy" from "neutral". Continuación...