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05.04.2012 18:31

European stocks close:

 

European stocks climbed in the final hour of trading, trimming a third week of losses for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, as a rebound in commodity companies offset renewed concern about the euro area.

Spain’s 10-year bonds dropped for a third day, pushing the yield on the country’s benchmark debt seven basis points higher to 5.76 percent, after an International Monetary Fund spokesman said the nation is facing “severe” challenges.

Italy’s 10-year yield rose seven basis points to 5.44 percent today, with the spread over bunds widening 12 basis points to 370 basis points. France’s 10-year bonds also slid as borrowing costs increased when the nation sold 8.4 billion euros of debt.

National benchmark indexes fell in nine of the 15 western- European markets trading today. France’s CAC 40 Index (CAC) added 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index gained 0.4 percent. Germany’s DAX Index lost 0.1 percent.

Markets in Denmark, Norway and Iceland were closed for a holiday today. All Western-European markets are closed tomorrow for the Good Friday holiday.

Copper climbed in New York for the first time in three days as reports showing an improving labor market and rising consumer confidence added to signs of recovery in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest consumer of the metal.

Glencore, the largest publicly traded commodity supplier, rallied 5.8 percent to 411.8 pence, leading a rebound in commodity stocks. Xstrata Plc jumped 3.5 percent to 1,112 pence, BHP Billiton Ltd. climbed 1.6 percent to 1,907 pence and Vedanta Resources Plc gained 2.1 percent to 1,235 pence.

Banks still retreated. UniCredit, Italy’s biggest lender, slid 3.1 percent to 3.31 euros. Banca Popolare di Milano Scarl lost 4 percent to 35.2 euro cents, Commerzbank AG declined 1.9 percent to 1.9 percent to 1.75 euros and BNP Paribas SA dropped 1 percent to 32.88 euros.

Merck KGaA dropped 1.8 percent to 83.40 euros. The German drugmaker was cut to neutral from outperform at Exane BNP Paribas.

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