(ANSA) - Milan, August 17 - Italy's Ftse Mib index rose 1.3% to 15,124 on Friday, lifted by advances in state defence company Finmeccanica and Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), the world's oldest bank. The performance of Italy's main index, which trades the top 40 listed companies in the euro region's fourth-largest economy, was matched by others in Europe amid better-than-expected U.S. consumer sentiment data. U.S. consumer confidence sentiment rose to 73.6 in August, a three-month high, the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey reported. Consumer confidence was buoyed by positive sales at retailers and as low mortgage costs pushed more Americans to pursue home-buying plans. In Italy, lender Monte dei Paschi surged 17.6%. Other Italian banking stocks advanced as well, with Ubi gaining 6.5%, Banco Popolare rising 3.4%, and Bpm increasing 4.5%. Autogrill, Italy's toll highway operator, jumped 3.3%, while media company Mediaset surged 3.3%. Energy company A2a declined 2.2%, as did Ferragamo which dropped 1.2%. Other stocks that posted declines included the operator of Italy's gas transmission network Saipem, which fell 0.4%, luxury goods maker Tod's, which fell 0.1%, and betting company Lottomatica which dropped 0.2%. Beverages-maker Campari in the meantime dropped 0.5%. Stock markets across Europe posted gains, in line with Wall Street's performance, as Spain's Ibex index gained 2.1%, and as the French Cac40 index rose 0.2%. Germany's Dax index, meanwhile, advanced of 0.4% while London's Ftse index advanced 0.2%.