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European stocks pared their advance, following yesterday’s biggest slide in two weeks, as carmakers dropped, offsetting results from Swiss Re Ltd. and Hermes International SCA that exceeded analysts’ estimates.
In Greece, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras obtained a parliamentary majority for a package of austerity measures needed to unlock further financial aid from the European Union.
The bill on pension, wage and benefit cuts was approved with 153 votes in favor in the 300-seat Parliament early today, according to acting speaker Athanasios Nakos. A total of 128 lawmakers voted against the bill, while 18 abstained and one member was absent.
The ECB will leave its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.75 percent, according to the median economist estimate. The Bank of England will hold its key interest rate at a record low of 0.5 percent, economists predicted before an announcement at 12 p.m. in London.
Swiss Re added 1.6 percent to 66.95 Swiss francs after reporting third-quarter net income of $2.18 billion, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.35 billion. The world’s second- biggest reinsurer said it will consider a special dividend if it fails to find an alternative way to deploy its excess capital.
Siemens advanced 3.7 percent to 81.78 euros after saying it plans to save 6 billion euros in two years as it prepares for lower profit in 2013. Siemens said it will cut costs by 5 billion euros, with an additional 1 billion euros from improving marketing and less complexity. The program will cost 1 billion euros in 2013, and profit will decline to as little as 4.5 billion euros next year from 5.18 billion euros in 2012.
FTSE 100 5,803.23 +11.60 +0.20%
CAC 40 3,419.9 +10.31 +0.30%
DAX 7,264.85 +32.02 +0.44%
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