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STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-Spain's banking shares gain after stress test

Spanish banking stocks opened up firmly on Monday after an independent report showed on Friday Spanish banks will need a total of 59.3 billion euros ($76.29 billion) in extra capital to ride out a serious economic downturn, removing uncertainty from the sector.

"Markets see the exercise as a step forward because the capital shortfalls for each banks have finally been identified and now the bank recapitalisations can move on", said Juan Pablo Lopez, banking analyst at Espirito Banco.

Shares in Santander gained 0.79 percent to 5.839 euros, while BBVA climbed 0.86 percent to 6.065 euros per share.

Bankinter , Sabadell and Caixabank

also opened up higher. These three, and Santander and BBVA, were part of a group of seven financial institutions that the audit saw as having no capital needs in an adverse scenario.

Even the state rescued-Bankia was gaining 1.5 percent after it was identified as the worst case in terms of capital needs with a cash gap of almost 25 billion euros .

Shares in Banco Popular were suspended after it announced a share issue of up to 2.5 billion euros to partially cover a 3.2 billion euros capital deficit shown in the report .

Banking shares had been among the biggest losers on Friday ahead of the stress test.

Reuters Messaging rm://jesus.aguado.reuters.com@reuters.net ($1 = 0.7773 euros)

Keywords: MARKETS EUROPE STOCKSNEWS