European shares hit nine-week high, led by banks
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.4 pct, euro zone bank index up 1.6 pct
* Mounting expectation of QE programme by ECB
* Allianz GI CIO sees volatility rising, favours dividend stocks
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Nov 25 (Reuters) - European stocks rose on Tuesday, with a benchmark index hitting a nine-week high as euro zone banking shares gained on mounting expectation of more stimulus from the European Central Bank.
Shares in Deutsche Bank, ING and BNP Paribas were up 2.0-2.2 percent. They were the top three risers among European blue chips, boosted by market speculation that the ECB will launch a quantitative easing programme in early 2015.
"Recent strong comments by (ECB President Mario) Draghi seem to be paving the way for the bank to start buying sovereign or corporate bonds," said IG France's chief market analyst, Alexandre Baradez.
"There is very little chance to see the ECB back-tracking as long as inflation doesn't start to pick up, which will support stock indexes in the medium term."
At 1500 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.4 percent at 1,390.18 points, after rising to as much as 1,395.34 points earlier in the session, a level not seen since Sept. 22. Continuación...