Europe shares gain after Portugal seeks bail out

LONDON, April 7 (Reuters) – European shares rose on
Thursday, led higher by financials after Portugal said it would
seek financial aid, but traders were wary that the bailout may
not signal the end of the euro zone sovereign crisis.

Portugal is the third euro zone country to seek a bail out
and investors are now watching to see if Spain could be next,
although the Spanish Economy Minister Elena Salgado said
contagion was ruled out.

By 0718 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: Quote, Profile, Research)
index of top shares was up 0.3 percent at 1,150.07 points ahead
of an interest rate decision by the European Central Bank.

“We all knew Portugal was going that way, Spain looks like
it is in a better position, but it is a bit early to say
everything stops with Portugal,” Will Hedden, sales trader at IG
Index said.

The STOXX Europe 600 Banks (.SX7P: Quote, Profile, Research) gained 0.9 percent, with
Banco Santander (SAN.MC: Quote, Profile, Research) and Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) rising
between 1.3 to 2 percent.
(Reporting by Joanne Frearson)

Europe shares gain after Portugal seeks bail out