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27.08.2012 17:30

European stocks close:

European stocks rose as Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the continent’s two largest economies will create a working group to strengthen the euro area’s fiscal and monetary union.

Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) and BNP Paribas SA (BNP) both gained at least 2 percent. Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) jumped 7.7 percent after a jury found rival Samsung Electronics Co. had violated Apple Inc. patents. Q-Cells SE (QCE) surged 11 percent after South Korea’s Hanwha Group signed a deal to acquire the insolvent German company.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.4 percent to 269.11 at 4:30 p.m. in London, after earlier falling as much as 0.2 percent.

Schaeuble said today that Germany and France will seek to develop common proposals on a fiscal, banking and monetary union. He also told reporters, after meeting with French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici in Berlin today, that the two countries will look for measures to boost economic growth.

Next month, the European Central Bank will formulate a bond-buying plan and representatives of Greece’s international creditors will issue a progress report. A German court will also announce its decision on the legality of the euro area’s proposed permanent bailout fund.

Investors are also awaiting a speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke on Aug. 31 at the Kansas City Fed’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. His speech in 2010 preceded a second round of bond purchasing, or quantitative easing, to help support the economic recovery.

National benchmark indexes gained in every Western-European market that opened today.

FTSE 100 5,776.6 0.00 0.00% CAC 40 3,458.56 +25.35 +0.74% DAX 7,041.8 +70.73 +1.01%    

A gauge of European banks climbed 0.7 percent as Spanish 10-year bonds rallied.

Nokia surged 7.7 percent to 2.69 euros, for the biggest advance on the Stoxx 600, amid speculation the company’s sales will benefit if the U.S. bans some of Samsung’s mobile devices.

Samsung plummeted in Asian trading after a U.S. court on Aug. 24 ruled that the world’s biggest handset maker infringed six of seven Apple patents. A ban may undermine Samsung’s grip on the smartphone market and set a precedent for rival handset makers that use Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

Q-Cells soared 11 percent to 18.9 euro cents. The shares surged as much as 40 percent after Hanwha agreed to buy the company that filed for insolvency in April. Hanwha, which signed a deal yesterday with Q-Cell’s administrator, Henning Schorisch, will assume “business liabilities in the low hundreds of millions” and a cash purchase price “in the medium double- digit million euro range.”

Lundin Petroleum AB (LUPE) climbed 4.4 percent to 153.60 kronor after the Swedish oil company said it discovered a 25-meter oil column at an appraisal well in the northeastern part of Johan Sverdrup deposit, Norway’s largest oil find since 1974.

Statoil ASA (STL) also said today that its Geitungen prospect in the North Sea holds as much as 270 million barrels of oil. The shares increased 0.8 percent to 148.10 kroner.

ThyssenKrupp AG (TKA) rose 1.7 percent to 16.49 euros after Welt am Sonntag reported that Germany’s biggest steelmaker wants to sell plants in the U.S. and Brazil for at least their book value of 7 billion euros ($8.8 billion).

Market Focus

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  • Australian unemployment rate stable at 5.6% in June
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