* STOXX 600 ends up 0.2 pct
* Nokia jumps after settles dispute with Apple
* Upgrade boosts Banco BPM
* Spanish banks recover
* Greek stocks drop as debt deal hopes dashed
(Adds details, closing prices)
By Kit Rees
LONDON, May 23 Nokia shares jumped more than 6
percent on Tuesday to their highest in more than a year, joined
by a rise in banking stocks which helped European stock markets
The pan-European STOXX 600 index ended up 0.2
percent, gaining pace after a sluggish opening as banking stocks
headed higher. Germany's DAX was up 0.3 percent while
euro zone blue chips gained 0.5 percent.
European tech firms were standout performers, with
the sector up 1.4 percent after shares in Nokia
jumped 6.4 percent to their highest since February 2016
following the settlement of a patent dispute with Apple
Positive economic data also supported sentiment, with PMI
surveys for May showing businesses across the euro zone kept up
April's impressive growth rate.
"It's a kind of risk-on environment, and Europe's benefits -
relatively low currency, a relatively attractive valuation
against the United States and many other regions, and of course
being a developed market - should enable it to continue to
outperform," Ken Odeluga, market analyst at City Index, said.
Upgrades also helped the top STOXX gainers, with Banco BPM
rising 5.9 percent after Barclays upgraded the Italian
lender to "overweight" from "equal weight".
Analysts at Barclays cited Banco BPM's attractive valuation
compared to Italian peers as well as progress with its portfolio
of bad loans.
"Banco BPM has much work to do reducing its NPLs and also
raising its coverage ... yet management has made a good start in
1Q17," analysts at Barclays said in a note, referring to Banco
BPM's non-performing loans.
Overall banking stocks gained 0.8 percent, with
shares in Spanish banks Banco de Sabadell, Santander
and BBVA regaining losses from the previous
session when they were hit by political worries after Spain's
Socialists re-elected hardliner Pedro Sanchez.
Spain's IBEX gained 1.1 percent.
Among other regional benchmarks, Greece's ATG index
fell after euro zone finance ministers failed to agree debt
relief for Athens with the International Monetary Fund and did
not release new loans.
In Britain, the FTSE 100 ended down 0.15 percent.
Campaigning ahead of the June 8 general election was suspended
after at least 22 people, including some children, were killed
in a suicide bomb attack in Manchester overnight.
There was little direct market impact seen from the attack,
although shares of theme park operator Merlin Entertainments
fell 1.5 percent.
(Additional reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Ed Osmond
and David Evans)