European stocks rose to the highest this month after the Bank of England announced credit-easing measures, boosting optimism central banks will take steps to stimulate the global economy.
BOE Governor Mervyn King said in a speech late yesterday that the case for more stimulus in the U.K. is growing. He also unveiled two plans to improve cash supply to the banking system.
A “funding-for-lending” program will allow banks to swap assets with the BOE for money to be loaned their customers. The central bank will also activate an unused facility to inject at least 5 billion pounds ($7.8 billion) a month into the system at a minimum rate of 25 basis points more than the benchmark interest rate, now at a record low of 0.5 percent.
National benchmark indexes advanced in all of the 18 western-European markets except Iceland. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 0.2 percent and Germany’s DAX rallied 1.5 percent. France’s CAC 40 climbed 1.8 percent.
Telekom Austria AG advanced 1.4 percent to 8.15 euros after America Movil agreed to acquire a 21 percent stake in the company from investor Ronny Pecik. The acquisition is part of America Movil’s strategy to establish a foothold in Europe as the debt crisis lowers the value of telecommunications assets.
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