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European stocks advanced, after yesterday’s drop, as investors weighed an accord between U.S. lawmakers to limit automatic spending cuts and avoid a government shutdown. U.S. index futures were little changed, while Asian shares fell.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2 percent to 315.67 at 11:09 a.m. in London. The equity gauge has rallied 13 percent this year as central banks around the world pledged to leave interest rates near record lows for a prolonged period of time.
U.S. Congressional negotiators reached a budget accord to limit automatic spending cuts for the next two years, remove the risk of a government shutdown like the one in October and cut the deficit by as much as $23 billion. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives must pass the deal.
The compromise, worked out between chief negotiators Senator Patty Murray and Representative Paul Ryan, would set spending at about $1.01 trillion in the current fiscal year, higher than the $967 billion required in a 2011 budget plan.
Investors are considering when the Federal Reserve, which meets next week, may reduce the pace of its monthly bond buying. Twelve out of 35 predicted that Fed policy makers will begin to slow the asset-buying program at their Dec. 17-18 meeting. Nine said the central bank will buy fewer bonds from its January meeting and the remaining 14 said that tapering will start in March.
Natixis climbed 4.5 percent to 4.08 euros. Exane BNP Paribas raised its rating on the stock to outperform, similar to a buy recommendation, from neutral, citing a potential capital return and high payouts for shareholders. The French bank will probably have a dividend yield of 3.9 percent this year and 5.7 percent next year.
Stagecoach Group Plc (SGC) advanced 3.9 percent to 376 pence, extending its gains this year to 22 percent. The bus and train operator said six-month adjusted earnings increased to 14.6 pence per share, exceeding the average analyst estimate for profit of 13.7 pence per share.
Imagination Technologies Group Plc (IMG) tumbled 17 percent to 207.5 pence, its lowest price since December 2009, after posting half-year sales that missed analysts’ estimates. The U.K. designer of chip technology for phones and tablets said sales rose to 85.2 million pounds ($139.9 million) in the period to Oct. 31, compared with the 93.3 million average estimate.
FTSE 100 6,541.19 +17.88 +0.27%
CAC 40 4,120.7 +29.56 +0.72%
DAX 9,135.49 +21.05 +0.23%
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