EUROPE MARKETS: European Stocks Rise, Look For New Multiyear High

European stocks traded higher Monday, with Spanish bank Banco Popular Español among those in the financial sector guiding the pan-European index toward another multiyear high. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.2% at 347.91, adding to Friday’s advance that left the benchmark index at its highest closing level in more than six years. The index last week rose nearly 1%, coming after the European Central Bank outlined measures aimed at boosting inflation and encouraging economic growth through.

Overall, the ECB’s “measures still help bank balance sheets, with positive impact on funding costs and deleveraging” of nonperforming loans and legacy assets, “which benefits peripheral banks most,” said J.P. Morgan analyst Mislav Matejka on Monday in a note to clients. The note also included an upgrade to an overweight rating for Banco Popular Español SA , sending its shares 3.3% higher, the best performing stock on the Stoxx 600.

Shares of Intesa Sanpaolo SpA were also higher, rising 1.2%, and UniCredit SpA moved up 0.8%.

Elsewhere in financial sector, shares of Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LYG) fell 1.5% as Lloyds priced the initial public offering of its TSB unit between 220 pence ($3.69) to 290 pence. Lloyds expects to sell 125 million ordinary shares, and the offer represents around 25% of the TSB unit.

The midpoint of the price range puts TSB’s market capitalization at around GBP1.275 billion. Media reports quoted analysts as saying TSB’s book value as a stand-alone entity is around GBP1.5 billion. Final pricing will be announced on or around June 20.

Lloyds shares lagged behind the U.K. FTSE 100 index , which rose 0.3% to 6,875.65.

On other indexes, France’s CAC 40 index dipped 0.1% to 4,578.92, and Germany’s DAX 30 index rose 0.1% to 9,994.48.

By Carla Mozee