Italy leads Europe shares higher as pro-EU forces hold ground

LONDON Mon May 26, 2014 3:16am EDT

LONDON May 26 (Reuters) - European equities rose on Monday, with Italy's FTSE MIB outperforming, as investors welcomed the fact that European Parliament elections gave the majority of seats to parties supporting the European Union.

Italy's FTSE MIB rose 2.4 percent, outpacing all other major European indexes, led by a rally in domestically focused banks such as UBI Banca and BP Milano .

Germany's DAX also rose to a new record high of 9,834.36 points, before settling back to 9,828.41 points, while France's CAC-40 also edged up by 0.2 percent.

Initial results from around the 28-nation bloc showed the pro-European centre-left and centre-right parties will keep control of around 70 percent of the 751-seat EU legislature.

The number of Eurosceptic members will however more than double in the European Parliament, reflecting stunning victories for eurosceptic nationalists in France and Britain in what was seen as a protest vote against austerity and unemployment.

Italian bond yields fell on Monday as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's centre-left Democratic Party looked set to win European parliamentary elections, easing concerns of a victory by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Lionel Laurent)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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