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European shares extend gains as banks rise

LONDON, Dec 16 (Reuters) - European shares extended gains in morning trade on Wednesday, with banks taking the lead after sources said global regulators plan to give banks a grace period before they have to implement new, stronger capital rules.

At 1012 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 index of top shares was up 1.1 percent at 1,029.33 points, the highest level since Dec. 4.

Banks added the most points to the index. Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE, Banco Santander SAN.MC, HSBC HSBA.L and BNP Paribas BNPP.PA were 1.1 to 4.9 percent higher.

The market was also supported by positive economic data, with the euro zone’s dominant service sector grew at its fastest pace in over two years during early December while the manufacturing sector grew at a rate not seen since March 2008, key surveys showed. [ID:nLDE5BF0AU] (Reporting by Joanne Frearson, editing by Atul Prakash)

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