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European stocks rose as companies from BP Plc to UBS AG reported earnings and the Federal Reserve began a two-day meeting.
The Federal Open Market Committee started a two-day meeting today to consider when to begin trimming the $85 billion-a-month of bond purchases that have buoyed global markets. Policy makers will hold off paring stimulus measures until the March 18-19 meeting, a Bloomberg survey showed this month.
Retail sales in the U.S. outside of auto dealers climbed in September. The 0.4 percent gain in purchases excluding vehicles followed a 0.1 percent increase in August and matched the median forecast of economists, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington.
A separate report showed that confidence among U.S. consumers declined in October by the most since August 2011. The Conference Board’s index fell to 71.2 in October from a revised 80.2 the month prior, the New York-based private research group said today. The median forecast in a survey of economists called for a reading of 75.
National benchmark indexes rose in 16 of the 18 Western-European markets. The U.K’s FTSE 100 gained 0.7 percent, Germany’s DAX Index added 0.5 percent and France’s CAC 40 increased 0.6 percent.
BP added 5.6 percent to 477.5 pence, its biggest gain since January 2011. Europe’s third-largest oil company raised its dividend by 5.6 percent to 9.5 cents a share. Profit adjusted for one-time items and inventory changes dropped to $3.7 billion from $5 billion a year earlier, beating the $3.4 billion average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
A gauge of European oil and gas companies posted the best performance of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600, gaining 1.9 percent to a nine-month high. Saipem SpA rallied 4.7 percent to 17.04 euros and Fugro NV added 2 percent to 46.48 euros.
Nokia Oyj jumped 7 percent to 5.35 euros. The Espoo, Finland-based company forecast rising profit ">OC Oerlikon Corp. climbed 1.6 percent to 12.65 Swiss francs. The maker of textile machinery reported third-quarter earnings before interest and taxes of 88 million francs ($98 million), beating the 86 million francs analysts had forecast.
UBS slid 7.7 percent to 17.70 francs. The bank’s target of reaching 15 percent return on equity in 2015 will be delayed by at least a year unless the regulator removes its capital demand, the Zurich-based lender said in a statement. UBS also reported third-quarter net income of 577 million francs, beating the average analyst estimate that called for 561 million francs.
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