Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank rise on U.S. settlements, helping European shares

LONDON, Dec 23 (Reuters) - European shares edged up on Friday, buoyed by the banking sector after Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank settled mortgage securities fraud suits with the United States, and as Italy’s Monte dei Paschi agreed to a bailout.

The STOXX Europe 600 was up 0.1 percent at 0811 GMT, with banks up 0.4 percent, the top sectoral riser.

Deutsche Bank rose 4 percent, the biggest gainer on the index.

It agreed to a $7.2 billion settlement with the United States over its sale and pooling of toxic mortgage securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, while the Justice Department had been seeking nearly twice as much.

Credit Suisse rose 2 percent after also settling with the U.S. DoJ, while RBS, which is being investigated, rose 2.4 percent on hopes that its final settlement might be lower than expected.

Barclays underperformed, down 0.5 percent, as the DoJ launched a lawsuit against the bank over its sale of mortgage-backed securities. The bank said it rejected the complaint.

Italian lenders rose 1.4 percent after the Italian government agreed to bail out Monte dei Paschi, although shares in the bank itself were suspended from trading. (Reporting by Alistair Smout, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)