PARIS Aug 4 European stocks inched higher on
Monday, halting last week's sharp sell-off, although trouble at
Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo rekindled worries over
the health of the euro zone banking sector.
At 0712 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top
European shares was up 0.2 percent at 1,334.84 points, staging a
technical bounce after dropping nearly 3 percent last week.
Following a frenzied weekend of discussions between
Portuguese and European Union officials, Portugal agreed to
spend 4.9 billion euros ($6.58 billion) to rescue Banco Espirito
Santo, or BES, its largest listed bank, just months after the
country exited an international bailout.
BES shares, which plunged 73 percent last week, were
suspended since Friday afternoon.
Portugal's PSI 20 benchmark was flat, taking a
breather following recent sharp losses. The index last week
slipped into bear market territory, down 26 percent since early
Portuguese bond yields slipped on Monday, after Portugal's
bailout plan reassured debt investors there would be no strain
to public finances.
Portuguese 10-year yields dipped 1.4 basis
points to 3.71 percent with the problems around BES essentially
seen contained for now.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; aditional reporting by Emelia
Sithole-Matarise; Editing by Francesco Canepa)