Erste Group Bank AG (RBAG) of Austria and Vienna Insurance Group AG (VIG) led Czech shares higher, snapping the main index’s five-day slump before a report that may show the U.S. real-estate market is stabilizing.
Erste increased 1.4 percent to 457 koruna by 10:09 a.m. in Prague after sliding 2.9 percent in the previous five sessions. The stock was up 32 percent so far this year. The 14-member PX (PX) gauge, where Erste has a 19 percent weighting, rose 0.9 percent to 996, extending its 2012 rally to 9 percent.
European stocks gained, set for the biggest first-quarter rally since 1998, as house prices in 20 U.S. cities probably fell at a slower pace in the year to January, according to economists’ estimates. Banks were among the best performers after the U.K. government held talks with investors to sell a part of its stake in Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc.
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