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07.11.2012 11:32

European stocks advanced



European stocks advanced to an almost three-week high as American President Barack Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney to win a second term.

Obama defeated Republican Mitt Romney, winning at least 303 electoral votes in yesterday’s election with 270 needed for the victory. With one state -- Florida -- yet to be decided, Romney had 206 electoral votes.

The president faces a partisan divide in Congress, with Republicans retaining their House majority, while Democrats kept control of the Senate. A looming “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and spending cuts will start in January if Congress and the White House don’t act before then.

In China, Vice President Xi Jinping was appointed the secretary general of the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress, a procedural move that signals he’ll replace President Hu Jintao as head of the party and government in the world’s second- largest economy. The congress will be held Nov. 8-14.

In the euro area, September retail sales decreased more than economists estimated, a report showed today. Sales fell 0.2 percent from August, when they rose 0.2 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said. Economists had forecast a decline of 0.1 percent.

In indebted Greece, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras faces a test of his fragile coalition government today as he seeks parliamentary approval for austerity measures.

The 238 pages of austerity measures, ranging from raising the retirement age two years to 67 to eliminating Christmas and holiday payments for pensioners, will be debated in the 300-seat Parliament from 10 a.m. with a vote expected after 8 p.m. Athens time. Approval of the legislation is the first of the parliamentary votes required by Nov. 12 to obtain a 31 billion- euro ($40 billion) portion of international aid.

BNP Paribas rose 5.1 percent to 41.10 euros, contributing the most to the Stoxx 600’s gain. France’s biggest lender said third-quarter profit more than doubled after its investment- banking unit posted higher revenue. Net income climbed to 1.32 billion euros from 541 million euros a year earlier. That exceeded the 1.06 billion-euro average estimate of analysts.

Hochtief surged 6.3 percent to 41.02 euros, its biggest gain since Sept. 14. Germany’s largest builder reiterated its full-year profit targets and reported a third-quarter pretax profit of 354.7 million euros, compared with a loss of 101.6 million euros a year earlier.

Randgold Resources Ltd. slumped 5.5 percent to 7,020 pence, the sharpest decrease since June 7. The producer of gold in West Africa said full-year output will be at the bottom of its target range of 825,000 ounces to 865,000 ounces. The company also said its costs will increase after power disruptions at the Tongon mine in Ivory Coast.

FTSE 100 5,912.29 +27.39 +0.47%

CAC 40 3,501.79 +23.13 +0.66%

DAX 7,408.54 +30.78 +0.42%


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