RTTNews - The European markets rose for the third day on Monday, as banking stocks gained after cost of borrowing between banks fell the most in two months and heavily weighted energy stocks rallied after crude oil prices climbed.

The London interbank offered rate, or Libor, for three- month loans fell four basis points to 79 basis points today, the biggest decline since March 19, according to British Bankers' Association data.

Crude for June delivery rose $2.24 to $58.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, by the time the European markets closed, on speculations that Americans will overlook dismal economic news as they head out on their Memorial Day weekend trips.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 2.37% higher at 859.88 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index rose 2.55% to 2,107.35 points.

Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 2.26% to 4,446.45, while France's CAC 40 index surged up 2.41% to 3,245.39 and Germany's DAX index climbed 2.42% to 4,851.96.

Lloyds Banking Group, Britain's biggest mortgage lender, rallied 9.9% after the company agreed with the Treasury to start a previously announced share sale on May 20 as the government converts preference shares acquired when it bailed out the bank.

Barclays, Britain's third largest bank, surged up 4.9% after the Wall Street Journal reported that Barclays is in talks to sell its asset management unit for as much as $12 billion, with BlackRock Inc. among interested bidders.

Other banking stocks also gained. HSBC, Europe's largest bank, climbed 4.4%, while Commerzbank, Germany's second biggest lender, jumped 9.1% and Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered rose 8.5%.

Oil stocks rallied, tracking crude oil prices. BP, Europe's biggest oil company, surged up 2.5%, while Royal/Dutch Shell, the second biggest, rose 2.1% and Total, the third biggest, climbed 3.7%.

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