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European stocks gained, extending a five-year high, as Lawrence Summers withdrew from consideration as Federal Reserve chairman, paving the way for Janet Yellen, who investors say will favor slower stimulus reduction.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rallied 0.6 percent to 313.42 at the close of trading, the highest level since June 2008. The gauge has risen 5.4 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.
National benchmark indexes gained in 16 of the 18 western European markets today. Germany’s DAX surged 1.2 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 0.6 percent and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.9 percent. The volume of shares changing hands in Stoxx 600-listed companies was 8.8 percent lower than the 30-day average, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
EasyJet added 2.4 percent to 1,331 pence, while IAG, the owner of British Airways, climbed 3.3 percent to 325 pence. Air France-KLM Group surged 5.5 percent to 7.15 euros and Ryanair Holdings Plc rallied 4.2 percent to 6.44 euros.
West Texas Intermediate crude fell to a two-week low as the threat of imminent military strikes against Syria eased.
H&M jumped 4 percent to 259.20 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.
Remy Cointreau surged 7 percent to 84.10 euros for the biggest gain in the Stoxx 600 and largest advance since October 2009. Chinese cognac shipments rose 20.5 percent in August, increasing for the first time since January, according to UBS AG, quoting data from BNIC, a trade association of cognac makers.
Fresnillo Plc and Polymetal International Plc sank at least 7 percent to lead declines in the Stoxx 600 after the precious-metals producers were not included in the NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index. Fresnillo tumbled 13 percent to 1,045 pence. Polymetal plunged 7.1 percent to 659.5 pence. African Barrick Gold Plc also fell, losing 12 percent to 143.9 pence.
NYSE Euronext announced which companies will be added and deleted from the gauge of gold stocks after changing the methodology to include non-U.S. listed companies. Centamin Plc, the only U.K.-based company added to the index, advanced 2.3 percent to 45.5 pence. The changes will be effective Sept. 23., according to a statement by NYSE Euronext.
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