European shares hit 7-year high as Italian banks rally
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.7 pct, hits 7-year high
* Rises for 3rd straight session on hopes of ECB QE
* Swiss shares recover after last week's correction
* Italian co-operative banks boosted by reform hopes
By Blaise Robinson and Francesco Canepa
PARIS/LONDON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - European shares hit a seven-year high after rising for a third day on Monday as Italian banks rallied, boosted by the prospect of a significant corporate governance revamp, and Swiss stocks clawed back some of last week's losses.
Broader market sentiment has been supported by expectations the European Central Bank will on Thursday unveil plans to buy sovereign bonds to try to fight deflation and revive growth.
"People are buying before it," said Justin Haque, a broker at Hobert Capital Markets.
Shares in co-operative Italian banks rose on the back of a draft government decree which would abolish a rule granting one vote to each shareholder regardless of the size of their stake. Continuación...