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European stocks climbed for a fourth day, for the longest stretch of gains in six weeks, as results from Vinci SA to Sandvik AB topped estimates, outweighing slower-than-forecast U.S. economic growth.
Spain’s sovereign credit rating was cut for the second time this year by Standard & Poor’s on concern that the country will have to provide further fiscal support to banks as the economy contracts. S&P lowered the long-term grade to BBB+ from A, with a negative outlook and reduced the short-term rating to A-2 from A-1.
Italy sold 5.95 billion euros ($7.9 billion) of bonds today, less than the maximum for the auction, as the country paid 60 basis points more than a month ago to sell 10-year debt.
National benchmark indexes gained in 14 of the 18 western- European markets. France’s CAC 40 rose 1.1 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 increased 0.5 percent and Germany’s DAX added 0.9 percent.
Vinci jumped 4.2 percent to 35.56 euros after posting a 6 percent increase in the first-quarter sales, beating estimates. The construction company reported a revenue of 8.1 billion euros, compared with analysts’ forecasts for 7.64 billion euros.
CRH Plc, the world’s second-biggest building-materials maker, gained 3.9 percent to 1,268 pence. The stock was raised to overweight, the equivalent of buy, from underweight at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Sandvik advanced 12 percent to 104 kronor, the biggest jump since November 2008. The company reported first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates and posted record order intake as demand grew in the Americas.
Nobel Biocare, the world’s second-biggest dental implant maker, rose 4.2 percent to 11.15 Swiss francs after it said first-quarter profit rose 9.5 percent on growth in North America as Europe continued to falter along with the economy.
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