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21.05.2012 18:41

European stocks close:

 

European stocks climbed, rebounding from last week’s biggest selloff since September, as China’s pledge to boost growth outweighed concern that Greece may be forced to leave the euro area.

In China, Premier Wen Jiabao called for “putting stabilizing growth in a more important position” and refrained from mentioning concern about inflation in remarks published yesterday by the official Xinhua News Agency. China may announce stimulus actions in the near term, according to a front-page commentary today in the China Securities Journal, published by Xinhua.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble will, for the first time, discuss the euro at a meeting with his newly installed French counterpart, Pierre Moscovici, in Berlin today as European Union leaders prepare to meet in Brussels on May 23.

Group of Eight leaders on May 19 urged Greece to stay within the euro area as polls in the country showed a close race between parties supporting and opposing austerity measures linked to the EU-led bailout.

National benchmark indexes climbed in 12 of the 18 western European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 0.7 percent and Germany’s DAX increased 1 percent, while France’s CAC 40 rose 0.6 percent. Italy’s FTSE MIB lost 0.3 percent as 29 of the gauge’s companies traded without the right to their latest dividends.

Carmakers were among the biggest gainers of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600, rebounding from a five-day selloff. Renault rallied 4.7 percent to 32.02 euros as UBS AG added the French carmaker to its European “key calls” list.

Fiat climbed 8.6 percent to 3.64 euros in Milan, the biggest gain in more than two months. Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. upgraded the carmaker to outperform, the equivalent of a buy recommendation, from market perform with a price estimate of 5 euros. That’s 51 percent above last week’s close.

Barclays rose 2.2 percent to 180 pence after the lender said it plans to sell its entire holding in BlackRock before the latest round of Basel rules stops it from counting the holding as capital.

Banco Popolare SC surged 19 percent to 1.04 euro cents, the biggest jump since at least July 2007, as analysts from Bank of America Corp. to Exane BNP Paribas upgraded the shares after Italy’s fourth-biggest bank said regulatory approval to use internal risk models boosted its Tier 1 capital.

Man Group Plc gained 4.7 percent to 78.8 pence, recouping some of last week’s 14 percent slump. The world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund has agreed to buy FRM Holdings Ltd., adding $8 billion of assets invested in other hedge fund managers as its own stock price sinks.

Market Focus

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  • Australian unemployment rate stable at 5.6% in June
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