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13.01.2014 18:20

European stock close

European stocks advanced for a second day, after the Stoxx Europe 600 Index posted its first full-weekly gain of 2014, as a global banking-supervision body eased rules linked to minimum-capital requirements for lenders.

The Stoxx 600 climbed 0.2 percent to 330.66 at 4:30 p.m. in London. The benchmark gained 0.7 percent last week as investors weighed data that showed the U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly fell in December even as hiring slowed.

The Basel Committee adjusted proposals for the calculation of lenders’ leverage ratio, which sets a minimum standard for how much capital needs to be held as a percentage of all assets, after warnings from banks that the original rule would penalize low-risk financial activities and curtail lending.

The changes will give lenders more scope in calculating the ratio, as well as easing proposals on how they determine the size of their off-balance sheet activities, the committee said following a meeting in the Swiss city yesterday.

National benchmarks rose in 15 of the 18 western European markets.

FTSE 100 6,757.15 +17.21 +0.26% CAC 40 4,263.27 +12.67 +0.30% DAX 9,510.17 +36.93 +0.39%

UBS climbed 3 percent to 18.73 Swiss francs. Ermotti refuted a report by Mediobanca SA analysts last week that Switzerland’s biggest lender may dispose of the investment-banking business as higher capital requirements from regulators thwart efforts to boost returns.

Suedzucker AG jumped 12 percent to 21.64 euros, for its biggest gain since October 2008, after reiterating its full-year forecasts. The maker of sugar, starch and bakery additives predicted revenue for 2014 of about 7.6 billion euros ($10.4 billion) and operating profit of about 650 million euros.

Alcatel-Lucent SA (ALU) advanced 5 percent to 3.27 euros. The French network-equipment maker is in talks to sell its enterprise business to potential buyers including Unify GmbH, a venture of Gores Group LLC and Siemens AG, according to three people familiar with the matter. The unit may be valued at as much as 250 million euros, one of the people said.

Debenhams Plc (DEB) rose 5.1 percent to 85.7 pence as Sports Direct International Plc acquired a 4.63 percent stake in the U.K.’s second-largest department store chain. Sports Direct said it wants to work with Debenhams at an operational level.

PSA Peugeot Citroen SA (UG) advanced 7.3 percent to 10.75 euros. Sanford C Bernstein & Co. upgraded the French carmaker to outperform, similar to a buy recommendation, from market perform, citing its strong engineering and product range and its investment in new technology.

ICAP retreated 0.9 percent to 452.4 pence, after earlier losing as much as 2.7 percent. Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the shares to sell from neutral. The broker cited weak transaction volumes relating to uncertainty about changes to the rules for swap execution facilities, or Sefs, due to be implemented this year under the U.S.’s Dodd-Frank Act.

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