European lenders pushed stocks to a two-month high, even as they pared gains in the final hour of trading amid a decline in miners and oil and gas companies.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.1 percent to 345.72 at the close of trading in London, after earlier jumping as much as 0.5 percent. The benchmark index gained 2.9 percent last week as Mario Draghi said the ECB needs to accelerate inflation and may broaden its asset-purchase program, while China cut key interest rates for the first time since 2012. Futures on the Euro Stoxx 50 Index rose 0.5 percent at 5:04 p.m. in London.
Banks in the Stoxx 600 advanced 1.3 percent as a group, contributing the most to the gain. Banco Santander SA added 2.5 percent and Societe Generale SA rose 2.1 percent. Spains IBEX 35 Index climbed 1.2 percent for the second-biggest increase among 18 western-European markets.