(Bloomberg) -- European equities reached their highest level in five months in a broad-based rally led by energy and telecom stocks as the U.K. seems on course to delay Brexit, while comments from the European Central Bank boosted Italian banking shares.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.7 percent as of 10:36 a.m. CET with all the industry groups gaining. The index is at its highest intraday level since Oct. 5. Deutsche Lufthansa AG bucked the trend, dropping 5 percent after cutting its growth plans.
The FTSE 100 was up 0.4 percent after Britain’s Parliament rejected leaving the European Union without an agreement in place to keep trade flowing, putting the country on course to delay Brexit. A new vote will take place later Thursday on a postponement to the current March 29 deadline.
“The latest equities sessions have been a little bit tedious, with markets going from less to more in the session and we can keep seeing that trend for some more days,” said David Navarro, equities fund manager at Andbank Wealth Management in Madrid. “The Brexit saga continues with the uncertainty over how it’s going to end still pending and weighing on the pound.”
Italian banks rallied, with Banco BPM gaining 4.2 percent, following comments from ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure who said Italy is not a threat to the euro area and that there is no reason why the country should remain in recession.
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