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Sun, Apr 11, 2010 - Page 10 News List

European stocks gain for sixth week as fears ease

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European stocks advanced for a sixth straight week, the longest winning streak in a year, as a US jobs report indicated the economy is strengthening and concern eased that Greece’s debt crisis will spread to other nations.

The STOXX Europe 600 Index rose 0.8 percent to 269.74 this week. The measure has climbed 6.2 percent this year, reaching the highest level since September 2008, as central banks maintained record low interest rates and the EU agreed a contingency rescue plan to help prevent Greece from defaulting on its debt.

“The topic of Greece will keep resurfacing, but it will be solved one way or another and shouldn’t be overdramatized,” said Manfred Hofer, head of equity analysis at LGT Capital Management in Pfaeffikon, Switzerland, which oversees about US$73 billion. “US consumption is important and if we see an increase in jobs that shows that the economy is developing further in a positive sense. Markets still have upward potential.”

The STOXX 600 dropped for the first two months of the year amid concern that Greece, Portugal and Spain will struggle to rein in their budget deficits.

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