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25.10.2012 17:30

European stocks close:

European stocks climbed for a second day as companies including Unilever and Sanofi (SAN) posted results that exceeded analysts estimates.

Unilever gained 2.6 percent, its biggest advance in almost three months, after quarterly sales grew faster than analysts had projected. Sanofi rose 1.4 percent after France’s largest drugmaker reported third-quarter profit that retreated less than analysts had predicted.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.3 percent to 270.23 at the close in London as a report showed the U.K. moved out of recession in the third quarter.

Thirty-four companies in the Stoxx 600 post earnings today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Of the 89 companies that have reported profit so far this season, 47 have beaten estimates, while 41 have missed them.

The U.K.’s economy expanded in the third quarter more than predicted, rebounding from a recession. Gross domestic product climbed 1 percent from the second quarter, when it dropped 0.4 percent, the Office for National Statistics said.

In the U.S., a Commerce Department release showed orders for durable goods rose 9.9 percent in September. They dropped a revised 13.1 percent in August. Economists had forecast a 7.5 percent increase.

National benchmark indexes declined in 10 of the 18 western-European (SXXP) markets.

FTSE 100 5,805.05 +0.27 0.00% CAC 40 3,411.53 -14.96 -0.44% DAX 7,200.23 +7.38 +0.10% 

Debenhams Plc (DEB) jumped 9.2 percent to 119 pence, the highest price in five years, after saying it will continue to buy back shares next year. The U.K. department-store retailer raised its target for online sales to 600 million pounds ($967 million) from 500 million pounds and said it plans to have a total of 150 franchise stores within the next five years.

Daimler slipped 2.7 percent to 36.79 euros after the German carmaker lowered its 2012 forecast and said it will no longer reach its 2013 operating-margin targets because of tougher market conditions.

WPP Plc (WPP) fell 2.3 percent to 789.5 pence after cutting its full-year sales growth target for the second time in two months. The world’s largest advertising company said revenue, excluding currency fluctuations and acquisitions, will grow 2.5 percent to 3 percent, compared with a previous forecast of about 3.5 percent.

France Telecom SA (FTE) slid 5.2 percent to 8.83 euros after saying it will pay a dividend of 80 cents in both 2012 and 2013. The former telecommunications monopoly made a payout of 1.40 euros in 2011.

Logitech International SA (LOGN) plunged 16 percent to 6.92 francs, its biggest tumble in nine years, after the world’s largest maker of computer mice forecast lower sales and operating profit in the second half of the current fiscal year than a year earlier.

Market Focus

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  • Australian unemployment rate stable at 5.6% in June
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