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European stocks climbed the most in almost two weeks as a measure of German consumer confidence rose more than estimated.
A release from Nuremberg-based research company GfK AG showed German consumer confidence will climb to 7.4 in December from a revised 7.1 this month. That beat the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey that called for an increase to 7.1 from an earlier November reading of 7.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel reached a coalition agreement with the Social Democrats early today. The pact put her on track for a third term leading Europe’s biggest economy until 2017. It also signaled Merkel will continue her European policies including a rejection of joint liability for euro-area nations’ debt. The deal must pass a referendum among the 470,000 members of the SPD.
National benchmark indexes rose in all 18 western European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 increased 0.2 percent and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.4 percent. Germany’s DAX jumped 0.7 percent.
Royal Mail jumped 6 percent to 565 pence, its biggest gain since Oct. 23. The company said demand from online retailers for parcel deliveries helped increase operating profit after some costs by 97 percent to 283 million pounds ($461 million) in the six months ended Sept. 29.
Vivendi gained 0.9 percent to 18.77 euros after saying shareholder Vincent Bollore will replace Chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou once the telecommunications business is split from the media assets. The spinoff may entail distributing shares of its SFR mobile-phone unit to shareholders, the company said. Bollore owns 5 percent of Vivendi.
Assicurazioni Generali SpA rose 1.5 percent to 16.84 euros. Europe’s third-largest insurer plans to cut an extra 150 million euros ($204 million) of costs by 2015 and reduce debt as part of a plan to boost profit and strengthen capital.
Accor dropped 7.5 percent to 31.05 euros, its biggest decline since November 2011. Europe’s largest hotel operator said it will reorganize its business into two separate units. The HotelServices unit will operate about 460,000 hotel rooms under 14 brands. The HotelInvest unit will act as the owner and investor in hotels.
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