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Sun, May 04, 2008 - Page 10 News List

Europe advances for third week as turmoil subsides

BLOOMBERG

European stocks rose for a third week as earnings from companies including Storebrand ASA and Royal Dutch Shell PLC beat estimates and the US Treasury and the Bank of England signaled the worst of the credit turmoil is over.

Storebrand, Norway’s largest publicly traded insurer, led insurers higher after reporting a first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ projections of a net loss. Shell and BP PLC, Europe’s largest oil producers, also posted profit that topped estimates.

Earnings reports provide “some glimmering of hope the worst might be over,” Andrew Bell, head of research and strategy at Rensburg Sheppards PLC in London, said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

The Dow Jones STOXX 600 Index added 2.3 percent to 329.21 this past week, the highest since Feb. 27. The STOXX 50 advanced 2.6 percent and the Euro STOXX 50, a measure for the euro region, increased 2.2 percent.

Concern that credit-market losses will lower earnings and send the US into recession pushed the STOXX 600 down as much as 27 percent from a record on June 1. Since March 17, that loss has been cut to 18 percent after earnings reports from Ericsson AB to Bayer AG exceeded analyst projections and central banks moved to shore up the financial system.

National indexes rose in all 18 western European markets, except Iceland. France’s CAC 40 added 1.8 percent and Germany’s DAX advanced 2.1 percent. The UK’s FTSE 100 climbed 2 percent.

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