LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Banks led the gainers among European shares on Wednesday as expectations of a deal to avoid growth curbing tax hikes and spending cuts in the United States kept alive the end of year rally in equities.
The FTSEurofirst 300 -- which has risen in December in 12 of the last 15 years -- climbed to a 19-month provisional closing high of 1,142.35 points.
“Given the recent rally in the market over the last few weeks we have seen an aggressive return to risk. The negative macro headlines seem to be secondary to the move out of safe havens and defensives on the expectations that a fiscal cliff resolution will be achieved,” Atif Latif, director at Guardian Stockbrokers, said.
Banks, which rose 1.5 percent, were top performers.