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European stocks advanced to their highest level in more than five weeks after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the U.S. economy will continue to need stimulus measures.
Bernanke said low inflation and high unemployment mean the Fed needs to continue with its stimulus measures.
The FOMC released minutes of its June 18-19 meeting, showing many Fed officials wanted to see more signs employment is improving before backing a trim to bond purchases. About half of the 19 participants wanted to halt $85 billion in monthly bond purchases by the end of the year.
In Portugal, the benchmark PSI 20 Index dropped 2 percent. President Anibal Cavaco Silva urged the ruling coalition parties and the main opposition party to reach an agreement to let the country complete its aid program, saying an early election would be undesirable.
While the president’s stance allows the government to stay in office for now, he didn’t say if he accepted Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s proposal to promote Paulo Portas to vice premier with responsibility for coordinating economic policy with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
National benchmark indexes rose in 15 of the 18 western-European markets today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 0.6 percent, Germany’s DAX jumped 1.1 percent and France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.7 percent.
Ashmore gained 7.1 percent to 376.7 pence after it reported net inflows of $4.5 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter. The U.K. fund manager focused on emerging markets said conditions were more challenging toward the end of the quarter.
BHP Billiton gained 4.6 percent to 1,800 pence, its highest price since Sept. 14. Rio Tinto added 4.6 percent to 2,833.5 pence. Anglo American Plc rose 5.4 percent to 1,337 pence. A gauge of commodity producers posted its biggest rally in six months and climbed the most among the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600.
Fresnillo Plc, a silver and gold mining and exploration company, surged 13 percent to 1,018 pence, its biggest rally in almost four years, as the precious metals climbed for a fourth day.
Hays Plc advanced 5.2 percent to 99.9 pence after saying its fiscal fourth-quarter total net fees increased 3 percent. The U.K. recruiter forecast full-year operating profit at the top of the 112.3 million pound ($168 million) to 125.5 million pound range of market estimates.
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