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European stocks rose to an almost one-month high as Alcoa Inc. started the U.S. earnings-reporting season with results that beat analysts’ estimates.
Alcoa, the first member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average to report quarterly results, said profit excluding some expenses was 7 cents a share. That beat the 6-cent average of 15 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales fell to $5.85 billion, still surpassing the $5.79 billion average projection.
National benchmark indexes advanced in 13 of the 18 western-European markets today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 1.1 percent, Germany’s DAX climbed 1.2 percent, and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.6 percent.
A gauge of mining companies rose 2.6 percent, for the best performance among the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600. Global aluminum demand will increase 7 percent this year, led by an 11 percent growth in China, Alcoa said.
BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group climbed 2.7 percent to 1,734 pence and 2.8 percent to 2,745 pence, respectively. Polymetal International Plc, which operates gold and silver mines in Russia and a gold-and-copper mine in Kazakhstan, advanced 6.6 percent to 505.5 pence. Anglo American Plc gained 3 percent to 1,282.5 pence.
EDF rallied 9.4 percent to 19.43 euros. France has authorized the utility to raise its power prices for households by 5 percent next month and by another 5 percent in August 2014, Le Parisien reported. The newspaper cited a statement from Ecology and Energy Minister Philippe Martin. Separately, UBS AG upgraded the stock to neutral.
LVMH advanced 2.1 percent to 131.50 euros. The company agreed to pay 2 billion euros ($2.56 billion) for 80 percent of Loro Piana. The family owners of the maker of $1,385 cashmere sweaters will retain a 20 percent stake in the business, Paris-based LVMH said.
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