June 7, 2018 / 7:48 AM / 6 months ago

Banks push European bourses higher as ECB speculation lift yields

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LONDON, June 7 (Reuters) - European shares switched to risk-on mode on Thursday, joining an overnight rally on Wall Street and in Asia, with the banking sector posting the best performance amid expectations that the European Central Bank may soon start to wind down its stimulus.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.4 percent by 0735 GMT, while Germany's DAX advanced 0.6 percent and France's CAC 40 rose 0.7 percent.

Britain's FTSE did not trade because of a delay in the opening auction, a spokesperson said.

The banking sector index was up 1.4 percent as the euro held near a two-week high and the yield on Germany's benchmark 10-year bond hit its own two-week high.

Banks typically benefit from higher bond yields, which are currently rising after ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet suggested on Wednesday the central bank may use next week's meeting to reveal more about the end of its bond-buying programme.

The tech sector was also firmly higher, up 0.6 percent after the Nasdaq hit a fresh record.

Shares in Remy Cointreau posted one of the worst performances of the index, down 4.1 percent, after publishing its annual results with traders citing disappointment over the company's dividend. (Reporting by Julien Ponthus Editing by Gareth Jones)

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