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Are bank stocks really too cheap to ignore?

Even as a cheap option on a better than expected economic recovery in 2021, only the brave would buy European bank stocks right now.

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Most equity investors have turned their backs on European banks since Covid arrived in Italy. They are one of the most under-owned and poorly performing sectors of this most volatile year for global equity.

The SX7P index, which comprises the leading 38 banks from the Stoxx Europe 600 index, hit a year to date high of 148.83 on February 17, 2020.

It had fallen by 44% to 83 on March 16. It has languished below 100 almost ever since, touching a low of 79.27 on September 25, at the end of the week in which the FinCEN papers added another potential worry – of renewed litigation costs – to investors’ already long list of concerns about banks.

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