European shares rise sharply at open led by banks
MILAN Feb 15 (Reuters) - European shares opened sharply higher on Monday on the back of gains in Asia where the Nikkei surged more than 7 percent and a stronger fix of the yuan eased devaluation concerns.
By 0822 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 2.5 percent to 1,262.59 points, while the Euro Stoxx 50 index was also up by a similar amount.
Bank sector stocks, up 3 percent, were among the top sectoral gainers, extending Friday's rebound, with sentiment helped by news that the European Central Bank (ECB) is in talks to buy bundles of Italian bad bank loans as part of its asset-purchase programme.
Consumer goods maker Reckitt Benckiser Group rose 4.7 percent after stronger-than-expected full-year sales, while French telecoms group Orange added 3 percent after a report said a deal to take over rival Bouygues could be presented on Tuesday. (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
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