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European stocks advanced, after the region’s equities posted their first back-to-back losses in more than three weeks. U.S. index futures were also little changed, while Asian shares outside Japan rose.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2 percent to 334.51 at 8:08 a.m. in London. The gauge has fallen 1.4 percent from a six-year high reached on April 4 as investors sold the region’s best-performing stocks and tension escalated between the U.S. and Russia over the future of Ukraine. The equity benchmark has advanced 1.9 percent in 2014.
The Federal Reserve releases minutes of its March 18-19 gathering after the close of European trading today. Officials dropped a link between the benchmark U.S. interest rate and a specific level of employment at the meeting. The committee instead said it will look at indicators including labor market conditions, inflation expectations and financial markets, according to Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
Kingfisher increased 1.5 percent to 428.5 pence. UBS raised its rating on Europe’s largest home-improvement company to buy from neutral, citing the possibility of higher profits from its potential acquisition of Mr Bricolage SA in France.
Indesit, an Italian maker of ovens and fridges, added 2 percent to 11.10 euros. Some members of the Merloni family, which controls Indesit, would agree on a share offer to remain in the business, Il Sole 24 Ore reported, without citing anyone.
Norsk Hydro rose 1.8 percent to 30.17 kroner. Alcoa posted first-quarter profit excluding restructuring costs and other one-time items of 9 cents a share, beating the 5-cent average of 18 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Aluminum climbed on the London Metal Exchange as the U.S. producer of the metal forecast a global supply deficit this year of 730,000 metric tons, compared with the January estimate of a 106,000-ton surplus.
Arseus slipped 5.9 percent to 35.10 euros. Waterland Private Equity Investments BV sold 8.36 million shares in the company at 35 euros ($48.26) apiece, according to a statement late yesterday. The Belgian market regulator had suspended the shares in afternoon trading yesterday.
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