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02.02.2012 19:07

European stocks close:

European stocks climbed for a third day as a report showed that U.S. jobless claims dropped more than economists had estimated and Glencore International Plc held talks to buy Xstrata Plc, boosting mining companies.

In the U.S., a Labor Department report showed that applications for unemployment benefits fell last week more than economists had predicted, indicating the labor market is improving in the world’s largest economy.

National benchmark indexes climbed in 14 of the 18 western- European (SXXP) markets today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index added 0.1 percent. France’s CAC 40 Index gained 0.3 percent and Germany’s DAX Index advanced 0.6 percent.

Xstrata surged 9.9 percent to 1,230.5 pence after confirming that Glencore has held talks to buy the shares in the company that it doesn’t already own. Glencore’s shares soared 6.9 percent to 461.7 pence.

Novo Nordisk A/S rose 4.3 percent to 709.50 kroner after the world’s largest insulin maker posted net income that climbed to 4.69 billion kroner ($830 million) from 3.95 billion kroner a year earlier.

Benetton Group SpA surged 17 percent to 4.74 euros after the Benetton family, the company’s largest shareholder, said it will offer 276.6 million euros ($364 million) for the shares it doesn’t already own in the company. Edizione Holding SpA, which owns 67 percent of Benetton, will offer 4.60 euros a share, it said in a statement last night on the Italian bourse.

Unilever dropped 4.4 percent to 1,994 pence as the maker of Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Lynx deodorants said it expects difficult economic conditions and elevated commodity costs to persist this year.

02.02.2012 19:38

American focus: euro fell

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