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European stocks rose, capping the best first-quarter rally for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index since 2006, as euro-area finance ministers set the overall ceiling for the rescue of the region’s indebted nations at $1.1 trillion.
Euro-area ministers, meeting in Copenhagen today, set the maximum lending volume of the proposed European Stability Mechanism at 500 billion euros ($667 billion) and the combined lending ceiling of the ESM and the temporary fund -- the European Financial Stability Facility -- at 700 billion euros.
This, in addition to the 102 billion euros already paid to support current rescue programs, takes the total size of the firewall to 800 billion euros, the Eurogroup said.
National benchmark indexes rose in all of the 18 western European markets, except Greece. Germany’s DAX Index gained 1 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 0.5 percent and France’s CAC 40 advanced 1.3 percent.
Daimler rose 2.1 percent to 45.21 euros as a gauge of carmakers was the best-performing group in the Stoxx 600. Bank of America recommended buying Daimler’s shares, saying the company “is finally cutting out costs, reducing complexity, simplifying engineering and refreshing the product portfolio.”
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) advanced 2.4 percent to 67.43 euros. Preferred shares of Volkswagen, Europe’s largest maker of automobiles, gained 1.5 percent to 131.55 euros.
Michelin & Cie., the world’s second-largest tiremaker, climbed 2.4 percent to 55.83 euros and Continental AG rallied 3.1 percent to 70.77 euros.
BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, added 1.6 percent to 1,907.5 pence as a gauge of basic-materials shares rose 2.6 percent. Rio Tinto Group, the third-largest mining company, gained 2.1 percent to 3,446 pence.
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