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European stocks rose to their highest level since April amid optimism the European Central Bank will win support from policy makers for a plan to ease the euro area’s debt crisis.
ECB President Mario Draghi proposes using the euro area’s temporary rescue fund to buy government bonds on the primary market, while the central bank purchases securities on the secondary market to ensure the transmission of its record-low interest rates, two central bank officials said on July 27 on condition of anonymity.
European stocks rose for an eighth consecutive week last week as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande joined Draghi in promising to do everything to protect the euro.
Air France surged 19 percent to 4.62 euros, its biggest gain in two decades, after posting a narrower second-quarter loss as a restructuring program helped to reduce operating costs. Europe’s second-largest airline by sales reported an operating loss of 66 million euros compared with 145 million euros a year earlier. That beat the average estimate for a 163 million-euro operating loss of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue rose 4.5 percent to 6.5 billion euros.
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, the parent company of British Airways Plc, rose 7.2 percent to 162 pence. Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Europe’s biggest airline by sales, gained 3.2 percent to 10.41 euros.
National benchmark indexes climbed in western-European market except Iceland. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and France’s CAC 40 Index jumped 1.2 percent, while Germany’s DAX Index gained 1.3 percent.
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