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European stocks advanced the most in more than a week after Greek lawmakers approved austerity measures needed to get the financial rescue the nation seeks. Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos won parliamentary approval for the spending cuts after rioters protesting the measures battled police and set fire to buildings in downtown Athens. A total of 199 lawmakers voted for and 74 against the austerity plans.
Germany sold 3.01 billion euros of six-month bills at an average yield of 0.0761 percent, up from a negative yield at a sale on Jan. 9. Italy’s borrowing costs fell at a debt auction today. The Rome-based Treasury sold 8.5 billion euros of 365-day bills and 3.5 billion euros of 127-day bills at rates lower than in the previous sales.
National benchmark indexes climbed in 16 of the 18 western- European markets today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index added 0.9 percent. France’s CAC 40 Index gained 0.3 percent and Germany’s DAX Index rose 0.7 percent.
A gauge of mining shares rallied 1.5 percent for the best performance on the Stoxx 600 as copper rebounded from the biggest drop in a month. Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining companies, added 2 percent to 3,845.5 pence and 1.2 percent to 2,082.5 pence, respectively. Anglo American Plc added 2.6 percent to 2,817 pence.
Cable & Wireless Worldwide surged 45 percent to 28.54 pence after Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile-phone company, said it is in an early stage of evaluating a potential bid for the company. An offer, if made, may be in cash, Vodafone said.
National Bank of Greece jumped 9 percent to 2.92 euros, extending its gains this year to 80 percent. Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest lender, climbed 1.6 percent to 2.09 euros. UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank, rose 1.6 percent to 12.93 Swiss francs. Lloyds added 2.3 percent to 35.30 pence.
Banks in France fell after the government ended a ban on short-selling in the stocks 10 banks and insurance companies, the country’s markets regulator said today. Credit Agricole SA fell 3.6 percent to 5.13 euros and BNP Paribas SA dropped 2.1 percent to 34.33 euros. Societe Generale SA slid 2.2 percent to 22.74 euros.
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