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19.07.2012 17:03

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European stocks rose to the highest level since early April as companies reported quarterly earnings that exceeded analysts’ estimates.

Spain’s five-year borrowing costs surged at a debt sale today, while France paid record-low yields of less than 1 percent to sell similar securities.

Spanish five-year notes yielded an average 6.459 percent, compared with 6.072 percent a month ago. French yields for the same maturity fell to 0.86 percent, almost half of last month’s level. Spain sold debt as lawmakers debated spending cuts in Parliament, where police erected barriers and stood guard.

Spanish 10-year bonds extended their decline, pushing the yield through 7 percent for the first time since July 10, after the auction.

National benchmark indexes rose in all 18 western European markets except Portugal and Iceland. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 0.5 percent. France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.9 percent and Germany’s DAX advanced 1.1 percent.

Nokia surged 12 percent to 1.54 euros. The unprofitable mobile-phone maker posted sales of its flagship smartphone that topped some analysts’ estimates. Sales of the Lumia product increased to 4 million units in the second quarter, Espoo, Finland-based Nokia said.

Novartis AG rose 1.7 percent to 56 francs. The company reported second-quarter profit that declined less than analysts forecast, helped by increasing sales of new products such as the Gilenya treatment for multiple sclerosis and the Afinitor cancer drug.

Electrolux AB, the world’s second-biggest appliance maker, rose 6.2 percent to 153.70 kronor as it reported second-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates after it succeeded in pushing through higher prices in North America.

Market Focus

  • The Bank of Japan decided by a 7-2 majority vote to hold the interest rate at -0.10%
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 4.7 million barrels from the previous week
  • Australian unemployment rate stable at 5.6% in June
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