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Europe Markets: European stocks step higher as banks, miners are lifted up

European stocks climbed Thursday, with advances for bank and mining shares putting the region’s benchmark on course to start the month of September with a win.

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.77% rose 0.7% to 345.85, led by financial stocks SXFR, +1.38% . The index on Wednesday fell 0.4% after a choppy session left only the financial and telecom groups with gains.

But on Thursday, Commerzbank AG CBK, +5.58% shares picked up 4.6%, among the strongest gainers for a second day running following reports the German lender met with Deutsche Bank AG DBK, +3.68% about a potential merger.

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