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11.10.2012 17:10

European stocks close:

European stocks advanced for the first time in four days as U.S. jobless claims fell to a four- year low and Burberry Group Plc (BRBY) led luxury-goods makers higher.

Burberry jumped the most in more than 10 years as it reported second-quarter same-store sales that topped analyst estimates. Carrefour SA (CA) climbed 3.7 percent after the world’s second-largest retailer posted third-quarter sales that beat estimates. Banco Popular Espanol SA (POP) led Spanish banks lower after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the country’s debt to one level above junk.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) climbed 0.8 percent to 270.84 at the close of trading.

The U.S. trade deficit widened in August to $44.2 billion from a revised $42.5 billion in July, a Commerce Department report showed. Economists had projected an increase to $44 billion.

S&P lowered Spain’s debt rating to one level above junk, citing increasing economic and political risks. The country’s worsening recession is “limiting the Spanish government’s policy options

Separately, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said today euro-area governments agree that any decision on Greece will be taken after the IMF, the European Commission and the ECB publish their review.

National benchmark indexes climbed in 16 of the 18 western European markets.

FTSE 100 5,832.96 +56.25 +0.97% CAC 40 3,417.28 +51.41 +1.53% DAX 7,279.42 +74.19 +1.03%  

Burberry surged 13 percent to 1,136 pence, the biggest gain since at least July 2002, after the U.K.’s largest luxury-goods maker said sales at stores open at least a year rose 1 percent in the second-quarter, beating the average analyst estimate calling for a 1 percent drop.

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC) climbed 3.8 percent to 122.95 euros, Cie. Financiere Richemont SA added 4.5 percent to 59.90 Swiss francs and Christian Dior SA (CDI) advanced 3.6 percent to 108.30 euros.

Carrefour advanced 3.7 percent to 16.58 euros after the French retailer said third-quarter revenue rose 2.1 percent to 22.6 billion euros, topping the average analyst estimate of 22.4 billion euros.

BAE Systems Plc (BA/) rose 2.4 percent to 328.5 pence after Chief Executive Officer Ian King said the company is “strong and financially robust.” Adjusted earnings per share will show “modest growth” this year if price negotiations with Saudi Arabia over a fighter-jet order are concluded on time, the London-based company said today.

Bumi Plc (BUMI) soared 39 percent to 259 pence, the most since its London listing in July 2010, after PT Bakrie & Brothers Tbk proposed an asset swap. The Bakrie Group offered to exchange a 23.8 percent stake in Bumi for 10.3 percent of PT Bumi Resources, Bumi said in a statement.

Banco Popular slid 4.9 percent to 1.30 euros. Bankia SA (BKIA) dropped 0.3 percent to 1.02 euros, paring earlier losses of as much as 3.8 percent.

Siemens AG (SIE) retreated 1.3 percent to 77.05 euros after Deutsche Bank AG cut its recommendation on the shares to hold from buy.

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