European stocks climbed for a fourth week, the longest stretch of gains since April, amid speculation that the economic recovery will continue into next year.
UPM-Kymmene Oyj led a rally in paper makers after the company agreed to acquire two rivals. ARM Holdings PLC surged as Microsoft Corp is set to unveil a version of its Windows computer operating system that runs on the British company’s technology for the first time. Xstrata PLC and Antofagasta PLC led raw-material shares higher.
The STOXX Europe 600 Index climbed 1.6 percent to 280.90 this week, extending this year’s rally to 11 percent. The gauge has recovered from the plunge that followed Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc’s collapse in September 2008 as companies reported higher earnings, the EU bailed out Greece and Ireland and the US Federal Reserve unveiled US$600 billion of additional bond purchases to help the economy.
“Growth will continue to progress, although at a slower pace,” said Giordano Lombardo, who oversees about 186 billion euros (US$244 billion) as chief investment officer at Pioneer Global Asset Management SpA in Milan.
Attractive valuations and strong corporate profits “will underpin equities as the strongest candidate for the best asset class of next year, provided there are no major policy mistakes in the US or Europe,” Lombardo said.
Trading volume on the STOXX 600 declined every day this week as the Christmas holiday approached, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.