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European stocks rose for a fourth day as a report showed that manufacturing in the U.S. expanded in December at the fastest pace in six months.
The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 53.9 last month from 52.7 in November. France sold 84-, 161- and 315-day treasury bills today. The 10-year yield increased four basis points to 3.28 percent as of 2:05 p.m. London time, rising for a fifth consecutive day. Two- year yields added two basis points to 0.87 percent.
German unemployment fell in December more than economists had forecast as exports of cars and machinery boomed and one of the mildest winters on record helped support jobs in construction.
National benchmark indexes advanced in every western- European market except Greece. Germany’s DAX Index added 1.5 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index climbed 2.3 percent. France’s CAC 40 Index gained 0.7 percent.
BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, surged 6.2 percent to 1,993 pence, while Rio Tinto, the second-largest, soared 6.4 percent to 3,325 pence. Copper, lead, nickel, tin and zinc advanced on the London Metal Exchange.
Carmakers posted the second-best performance of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600 as Polk, a research company based in Southfield, Michigan, predicted that the industry’s sales will rise to 77.7 million vehicles this year, helped by a 16 percent gain in China to 17.9 million.
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) rose 4 percent to 55.29 euros as Sueddeutsche Zeitung said the world’s biggest maker of luxury cars (BMW) expects the automotive market to remain stable in 2012, with growth opportunities in the U.S. and China.
Afren Plc soared 20 percent to 103.2 pence, its largest increase since April 2009 and the best performance in the Stoxx 600 today. The U.K. oil and gas explorer focused on Africa said its aggregate production has reached 55,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day, exceeding its year-end target of 50,000 barrels.
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