Sun, Apr 26, 2015 - Page 15 News List

European stocks rebound, extending weekly advance


European stocks rebounded, extending weekly gains, as HSBC Holdings PLC led banks higher and companies including Renault SA rose on sales and earnings releases.

HSBC climbed 2.9 percent after saying that it has started a review into moving its headquarters from the UK. Renault added 3.7 percent after reporting quarterly sales rose 14 percent. Glencore PLC, BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Group led commodity producers to the biggest gain of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index as iron ore advanced into a bull market. AstraZeneca PLC declined 1.7 percent after posting lower first-quarter earnings.

The Stoxx 600 rose 0.3 percent to 408.42 at the close of trading, for a weekly gain of 1.2 percent. Shares advanced as much as 0.7 percent earlier after a gauge of German business confidence jumped to a 10-month high this month, beating forecasts. Stocks fell on Thursday as data showed euro-area output grew at a slower pace this month, and technology shares slid.

“The market is just making up the losses during the week,” said Christian Zogg, who manages the equivalent of about US$10 billion at LLB Asset Management AG in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. “Yesterday [Thursday], the market was a bit disappointed by the various PMIs, but on the other hand, the result season looks quite OK.”

The equity benchmark index has surged 19 percent this year, and last reached a record on Wednesday last week.

Greece’s ASE Index gained 3.4 percent, posting its biggest weekly advance in more than two months, even as Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch head of the eurozone finance chiefs’ group, ruled out making a partial aid payment to the nation in exchange for a narrower program of reforms.

At a stormy meeting in Riga, Latvia, Greek Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis was heavily criticized by his eurozone colleagues over his failure to deliver economic reforms.

“Nobody really expects a lot today and in the longer term, the impact from Greece for European stocks is not so relevant,” Zogg said.

European shares briefly pared gains as US Department of Commerce data showed that orders for business equipment in the US unexpectedly fell last month for a seventh consecutive month. Demand for all durable goods — items meant to last at least three years — rose a more-than-estimated 4 percent.

Among stocks also moving on corporate news, Suez Environnement Co climbed 4.1 percent after the water company reported a 16 percent increase in quarterly earnings.

Electrolux AB jumped 9.3 percent after Europe’s biggest maker of home appliances posted better-than-estimated profit.

Royal KPN NV advanced 5.2 percent as Goldman Sachs Group Inc recommended investors buy the shares, saying the Dutch company remains an attractive takeover target.

Pearson PLC slipped 3 percent after the publisher of the Financial Times said first-quarter sales excluding currency swings declined.

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