Banks push European shares higher in early trading

LONDON Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:13am EST

LONDON Jan 13 (Reuters) - European shares rose early on Monday to trade near a 5-1/2-year high, with financial stocks helping the market after global banking regulators eased a new bank rule on leverage to aid the global economy.

The STOXX Europe 600 banking index rose 1.1 percent to the top of the sectoral gainers' list after Sunday's decision on the new rules, which are meant to rein in risky balance sheets from 2018.

At 0810 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.3 percent at 1,324.67 points after setting a new high since mid-2008 on Friday.

Analysts said that investors' focus will shift to company earnings in the near term. A slew of major U.S. companies like JPMorgan, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs will announce results this week. European earnings will gather pace in the last week of the month.