European markets rise on U.S. consumer confidence

Italian-German bond spread down a point

European markets rise on U.S. consumer confidence

Milan, November 1 - Markets jumped across Europe on Thursday, paced by Milan's FTSE MIB index, as stocks gained amid soaring US consumer confidence. Consumer confidence in the world's largest economy rose to 72.4 in October, the highest level since February 2008, according to data released Thursday. The positive economic data comes five days ahead of next Tuesday's general election, which sees incumbent President Barack Obama pitted against Republican candidate Mitt Romney, at a time when the economy is high on voters' priorities list. Data was compiled by the Conference Board, a New York-based independent economic research organization. Italy's FTSE Mib index gained 1.5%, lifted by banks like Unicredit which gained 3%. Italy's largest investment bank Mediobanca advanced 3.6% whilst Intesa Sanpaolo rose 2.7%. The yield spread between 10-year Italian bonds and the German benchmark was little changed at 347 compared with 348 on Wednesday. The spread, a barometer of Italy's borrowing costs in the eurozone crisis, posted 10-year yields at 4.9%. The Frankfurt Dax bourse rose 1% at 7,336, while the Paris Cac 40 Index advanced 1.4% to 3,475 points. Madrid's Ibex index gained 0.6% to 7,886 points. London's FTSE-100 advanced 1.4% to 5,862 points.

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