NEW YORK (
) -- The financial sector rallied on Wednesday after a successful sale of Portuguese sovereign debt lifted bank shares in Europe and the United States.
Europe financials were riding high in late afternoon trading with the
iShares MSCI Europe Financials Index
shooting up 5.17% to 21.95. The U.S.-based
KBW Bank Index
showed a more measured increase, up 1.55% to 53.87
Prior to opening of the U.S. markets it was reported that
Lisbon managed to place ¿1.25 billion ($1.62 billion) in sovereign bonds
on strong demand. Markets were skittish prior to the sale on worries that Portugal could end up requiring a bailout like Greece and Ireland.
News of the sale buoyed financial stocks, especially European banks listed on U.S. exchanges that were seen as next in line in the crisis. Spanish giant
is up over 11% to $10.76 and
Banco Bilbao Viscaya Argentaria
was up 11.4% to $10.26.
Shares of other European banks were lifted as well, with
up 4,70% to $56.14,
Royal Bank of Scotland
up 3.50% to $13.01 and
up 5.14% to $55.23.
In the U.S. banks were also up as analysts came out with a series of research notes talking up the sector, including a
(GS - Get Report)
report that argued
(JPM - Get Report)
(C - Get Report)
Bank of America
(BAC - Get Report)
were among the best bets for investors ahead of their fourth-quarter earnings report.
Shares of JPMorgan were trading up 2.9% to $44.76, while Citigroup was up 2.24% at $5.05 and Bank of America's shares were up 1.74% to $14.95.
Written by Christopher Westfall in New York.