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European stocks rose for a second day amid speculation the region’s finance ministers will agree on a Greek financing deal and optimism Israelis and Palestinians will sign up to a cease-fire in Gaza.
EasyJet Plc (EZJ) jumped to the highest level in five years, leading travel shares higher, after the budget airline doubled its dividend. Xstrata Plc (XTA) and Glencore International Plc (GLEN) advanced as investors approved their $31 billion merger. Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) paced a decline in financial shares, dropping 1.7 percent on plans to reorganize its investment bank.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) added 0.3 percent to 269.49 at the close of trading, extending yesterday’s 2.2 percent jump to reach a one-week high.
U.S. housing starts unexpectedly climbed 3.6 percent to a four-year high in October. Builders broke ground on 894,000 homes at an annual rate after a 863,000 pace in September, Commerce Department figures showed. The median estimate economists surveyed called for 840,000 starts.
National benchmark indexes rose in 14 of the 18 western European markets today.
FTSE 100 5,748.1 +10.44 +0.18% CAC 40 3,462.06 +22.48 +0.65% DAX 7,172.99 +49.15 +0.69%
Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) slid 1.4 percent to 33.18 euros and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP) declined 1.1 percent to 1.22 euros.
Fiat SpA (F) dropped 5 percent to 3.31 euros. UBS AG lowered its recommendation on the Italian automaker to neutral from buy, saying it may need to raise between 1.6 billion euros and 2.9 billion euros to finance the purchase of the remaining shares in Chrysler Group LLC.
Exor SpA (EXO), which is Fiat’s biggest shareholder, slipped 3.8 percent to 18.37 euros after UBS also lowered its recommendation on the shares to neutral from buy.
Royal Imtech NV (IM), the Dutch provider of infrastructure for stadiums in this year’s European soccer championship and London Olympics, tumbled 11 percent to 15.68 euros, the biggest drop in more than four years. ABN Amro Bank NV downgraded the shares to sell from buy, saying the company could breach a banking covenant this year.
Accor SA (AC) rallied 3.4 percent to 24.71 euros as Exane BNP Paribas said the hotelier’s profit margins could reach 16 percent to 18 percent by 2016, from 9.5 percent at present.Swatch Group AG (UHR) increased 1.5 percent to 433.10 francs as the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said watch exports rose 13 percent last month from a year earlier.
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