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European stocks climbed to their highest level since February 2011 as jobless claims in the U.S. fell to a five-year low and the House of Representatives voted to temporarily suspend the federal government’s borrowing limit.
A Labor Department report today showed claims for jobless benefits in the U.S. unexpectedly dropped last week. Applications for unemployment insurance payments decreased by 5,000 to 330,000 in the week ended Jan. 19, the fewest since the same week in 2008. Economists had forecast 355,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a survey.
The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation to suspend the borrowing limit late yesterday. The measure, which passed 285-144, lifts the government’s $16.4 trillion borrowing limit until May 19.
In China, manufacturing expanded at the fastest rate in two years, according to a survey of companies by Markit and HSBC Holdings Plc. The preliminary reading of their purchasing managers’ index rose to 51.9 in January, from 51.5 in December. That compares with the median estimate of 51.7 in a survey. HSBC and Markit will report their final reading for January on Feb. 1.
National benchmark indexes advanced in 14 of the 18 western-European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 1.1 percent, while France’s CAC 40 added 0.7 percent. Germany’s DAX rose 0.5 percent.
EasyJet rallied 5.1 percent to 898.5 pence, the highest price since its initial public offering in November 2000. Revenue jumped 9.2 percent to 833 million pounds ($1.3 billion) in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with 763 million pounds a year earlier, the Luton, England-based company said. The airline forecast that it will post a pretax loss of 50 million pounds to 75 million pounds in the first half of 2013.
Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest discount airline, rose 2.7 percent to 5.40 euros in Dublin, its highest price in more than five years.
Vodafone jumped 3.2 percent to 168.7 pence, its biggest gain in five months. Greenlight Capital Re Ltd. wrote in a note that the mobile-phone operator’s valuation implies that its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless has no value. The note described the holding as “clearly quite valuable.” Verizon’s market value climbed above Vodafone’s in December for the first time in a decade.
Logitech International SA plunged 9.6 percent to 6.51 Swiss francs. The world’s biggest maker of computer mice put its remote-control and video-security businesses up for sale after posting the loss. The average estimate of seven analysts had called for net income of $50.3 million, according to a survey. Logitech reported third-quarter profit of $55 million in its previous fiscal year.
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