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04.07.2013 16:05

European stock close

European stocks rose the most in more than two months as the European Central Bank said that interest rates will remain low for an extended period, and Portugal’s political leaders sought to hold their coalition government together. U.S. index futures and Asian shares also climbed.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index surged 2.3 percent to 292.09 at 4:30 p.m. in London, paring the gauge’s retreat from its 2013 high on May 22 to 6 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures rose 0.9 percent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.4 percent. U.S. equity markets are closed today for the Independence Day holiday.

The ECB’s President Mario Draghi predicted that interest rates will remain low for an extended period of time. Speaking at a press conference at the central bank’s offices in Frankfurt’s Eurotower, Draghi said that key interest rates will remain at their current levels or lower for as long as necessary. Policy makers left their main refinancing rate at 0.5 percent at today’s meeting.

In the U.K., the Bank of England signaled that it will leave interest rates at a record low for longer than investors had expected. The central bank left its bond-purchase target at 375 billion pounds ($565 billion) and its key rate at 0.5 percent.

National benchmark indexes advanced in every western-European market except Iceland.

FTSE 100 6,421.67 +191.80 +3.08% CAC 40 3,809.31 +107.30 +2.90% DAX 7,994.31 +164.99 +2.11%  

Banco Espirito Santo SA, Portugal biggest bank by market value, rallied 10 percent to 60.2 euro cents. Banco Comercial Portugues SA, the second largest, surged 9.9 percent to 8.9 euro cents. Portugal’s PSI 20 Index jumped 3.7 percent, paring its 5.3 percent tumble yesterday.

Taylor Wimpey added 7.2 percent to 103.9 pence. The U.K.’s second-largest housebuilder by market value reported an operating-profit margin in its domestic market of more than 13 percent, compared with 11.2 percent a year earlier. It will publish first-half results on July 31.

Persimmon Plc, the country’s largest homebuilder, added 4.5 percent to 1,267 pence. Barratt Developments Plc rose 5.1 percent to 334.3 pence.

Oerlikon rose 3.5 percent to 11.70 Swiss francs after the maker of textile machinery said it will receive 470 million francs ($492 million) from the sale of its natural-fibers business to Jinsheng Group of China.

PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG) surged 10 percent to 6.86 euros, its biggest gain since April 24. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded the shares of the French automaker to buy from neutral. The brokerage said that Peugeot will probably beat its goals for reducing cash consumption.


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