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European stocks gained, extending a five-year high, after Lawrence Summers withdrew from consideration as Federal Reserve chairman, paving the way for Janet Yellen, who investors say will favor a slower reduction of stimulus. U.S. index futures and Asian shares also rose.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.8 percent to 313.87 at 9:47 a.m. in London, the highest level since June 2008. The gauge has climbed 5.6 percent this month as Chinese economic reports beat forecasts and the U.S. backed away from military action against Syria over a chemical-weapons attack that America says killed more than 1,400 people.
Former Treasury Secretary Summers withdrew his nomination to lead the Fed before a two-day policy meeting starting tomorrow at which the central bank is forecast to reduce its stimulus. Summers would tighten Fed policy more than Yellen, who was his main rival to replace Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, according to Global Poll of investors, analysts and traders last week.
Fifty-seven percent of investors surveyed Global Poll say they don’t expect a sudden change in the markets if the Fed cuts its bond purchases because they already anticipate tapering action.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reached an agreement over the weekend on a framework for finding, securing and destroying Assad’s stock of poison gas. The deal calls for early signs of progress, giving Assad one week to submit an inventory of his toxic weapons, and calls for initial inspections in Syria by November.
The Stoxx 600 may climb to 345 by the end of 2014, an 11 percent gain from last week’s close, Gareth Evans and Thomas Pearce, strategists at Deutsche Bank AG in London, wrote in a report dated Sept. 13. Earnings can increase by 10 percent next year, they said.
EasyJet added 2.2 percent to 1,328 pence, while IAG, the owner of British Airways, climbed 2.5 percent to 322.6 pence. West Texas Intermediate crude fell for a second day amid speculation that the threat of imminent military strikes against Syria has eased as the U.S. pursues a plan to confiscate the nation’s chemical weapons.
H&M rallied 3.5 percent to 257.90 kronor, the highest since September 2010. Europe’s second-biggest clothing retailer said revenue at stores open at least a year rose 4 percent in August compared with the same month last year. The average estimate in a SME Direkt survey was for a 2.5 percent increase.
Retailers posted the third-biggest gain out of 19 groups in the Stoxx 600, climbing 1.2 percent. Chemical companies surged 1.6 percent for the largest advance.
K+S added 2.7 percent to 23.20 euros. Kogan, a longtime ally of President Vladimir Putin is seeking to buy out Uralkali’s three main shareholders, according to people familiar with the situation.
K+S has still plummeted 13 percent since July 29 as Uralkali, the world’s largest potash producer, decided to end output restrictions that underpinned world prices and halt exports through the Belarusian Potash Co. trading venture.
SGS SA added 1.8 percent to 2,221 Swiss francs. The world’s largest product inspector was raised to a buy from neutral at Citigroup Inc., which also added the Geneva-based company to its most favored list.
FTSE 100 6,635.34 +51.54 +0.78%
CAC 40 4,151.17 +36.67 +0.89%
DAX 8,612.84 +103.42 +1.22%
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