August 14, 2017 / 7:27 AM / a year ago

Banks lead relief rally for European stocks, RWE jumps

LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) - European shares enjoyed a relief rally on Monday after geopolitical tension had sent them to their worst weekly losses of the year.

The pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.7 percent while euro zone stocks and blue-chips jumped 0.9 percent. Tension between the United States and North Korea had caused their worst losses this year, down 2.7 percent on the week.

The banking sector, the worst hit last week, led gains, up 1.4 percent, with Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and Standard Chartered Bank all up 2.5 to 2.7 percent.

Shares in German energy group RWE jumped 3 percent to the top of the STOXX after it said it was aiming for the top end of its 2017 profit forecast, with first-half results boosted by better gas plant performance. RWE is the leader among utilities stocks this year, up 60 percent since January.

Danone shares gained 2 percent after the New York Post newspaper speculated the firm could be a bid target. A spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

UK mid-cap Ladbrokes Coral meanwhile was among a handful of fallers, down 2.7 percent after Credit Suisse cut the stock to “underperform” from “neutral”.

Standard Life Aberdeen, the merged asset manager was among top European gainers on its first day of trading, up 2.7 percent.

Fiat Chrysler shares jumped 3.5 percent, leading autos stocks.

With 82 percent of MSCI Europe corporates’ quarterly results through, energy and basic materials stood out as the winners so far, while consumer cyclical and industrial companies have mostly missed analyst expectations.

Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Alison Williams

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