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European stocks gained amid speculation Japan may appoint a central bank chief who favors stimulus and as investors awaited the result of Italy’s elections.
In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will probably nominate Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda as Bank of Japan governor, two government officials with knowledge of the discussions said. Kuroda said earlier this month additional monetary easing can be justified for 2013.
Pollsters will release initial estimates of the Italian election results after 3 p.m. in Rome today. Incumbent Mario Monti and front-runner Pier Luigi Bersani of the Democratic Party have vowed to maintain budget rigor, while Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo have promised to stop tax increases.
The U.K. lost its top credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service, which cited weakness in the country’s growth outlook and challenges to the government’s fiscal consolidation program. Moody’s said late Feb. 22 that it lowered the rating one level to Aa1 from Aaa and changed the outlook on the nation’s debt to stable from negative.
In China, the preliminary reading of a Purchasing Managers’ Index was 50.4 in February, according to HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics. That compared with the 52.3 final reading for January and the 52.2 median estimate of 11 analysts . A number above 50 indicates growth.
BP gained 6.45 pence to 450.5 pence as a U.S. trial over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill begins today. The U.S. and Gulf states are considering a $16 billion accord with BP over pollution fines and natural-resource damages claims, the Wall Street Journal reported on Feb. 22, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.
Pearson Plc retreated 3.1 percent to 1,178 pence after saying it expects tough market conditions to continue this year. The publisher of the Financial Times newspaper forecast 2013 operating profit will be in line with 2012, when earnings fell.
FTSE 100 6,372.91 +37.21 +0.59%
CAC 40 3,758.71 +52.43 +1.41%
DAX 7,828.3 +166.39 +2.17%
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