RTTNews - The European markets rose for the fifth day on Friday, as banking stocks advanced after Citigroup and Bank of America reported better-than-estimated second quarter earnings, while energy and mining stocks rallied on firmer crude oil and metals prices.

In economic news, the U.S. Commerce Department revealed that housing starts rose 3.6% to an annual rate of 582,000 units in June from a revised pace of 562,000 in the previous month. Economists were expecting the figure to remain relatively stable with the pace of 532,000 units that was originally reported for May.

Crude for August delivery rose $1.49 to $63.51 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, by the time the European markets closed.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.43% higher at 870.56 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index rose 0.43% to 2,158.77 points.

Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index climbed 0.62% to 4,388.75, while France's CAC 40 index surged up 0.59% to 3,218.46 and Germany's DAX index rose 0.43% to 4,978.40.

Banking stocks gained after Citigroup and Bank of America followed JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs to report better-than-expected second quarter earnings. HSBC, Europe's largest bank, surged up 1.6%, while Societe Generale, France's second biggest lender, and Barclays, Britain's third largest bank, both rose 1.2%.

Heavily weighted oil stocks rallied after crude oil prices jumped above $63 a barrel. BP, Europe's biggest oil company, climbed 1.9%, while Royal/Dutch Shell, the second biggest, rose 0.9% and Total, the third biggest, surged up 1.5%.

Similarly, mining stocks edged higher after metals prices firmed up. Anglo American, the world's second biggest miner, rose 2.7%, while Rio Tinto, the third biggest, surged up 3.5% and copper miner Antofagasta climbed 3.4%.

British Airways, Europe's third largest airline, climbed 4.1% after the company announced to raise £600 million of cash funding, including a £300 million convertible debt issue and about £330 million bank guarantees.

Cap Gemini, Europe's biggest computer services company, rallied 3.2% after International Business Machines Corp. yesterday reported better-than expected second quarter earnings and raised its full year earnings outlook.

Sandvik, the world's largest maker of metal-cutting tools, jumped 7.1% after the company reported a second quarter operating loss that was smaller than it predicted last month.

On the other hand, Accor, Europe's biggest hotel operator, slid 7.5% after the company reported a 9% drop in second quarter sales.

Carrefour, Europe's biggest retailer, fell 3.7% after the company reported a second straight drop in quarterly sales.

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