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European stocks climbed, rebounding from the lowest level in more than two weeks, as companies from European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. to Bouygues (EN) SA reported results that beat analysts’ estimates.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) gained 0.9 percent to 287.17 at the close of trading after earlier falling as much as 0.3 percent.
Economic confidence in the euro area increased more than economists forecast in February, adding to signs that the 17- nation currency bloc may be emerging from a recession.
In the U.S., orders for durable goods excluding transportation gear climbed in January by the most in a year. Bookings for equipment meant to last at least three years minus demand for things such as aircraft, which is often volatile, climbed 1.9 percent, exceeding the median forecast of economists and the most since December 2011, Commerce Department data showed. Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes climbed more than forecast.
National benchmark indexes climbed in 14 of the 18 western European markets.
FTSE 100 6,325.88 +55.44 +0.88% CAC 40 3,691.49 +69.57 +1.92% DAX 7,675.83 +78.72 +1.04%
EADS (EAD) advanced 6.5 percent to 37.14 euros, the highest price since the shares started trading in July 2000. The company reported a 68 percent gain in full-year earnings before interest, taxes and one-time items to 3 billion euros, beating the average analyst estimate of 2.57 billion euros.
Bouygues rallied 13 percent to 21.96 euros, the biggest jump since August 2011. France’s second-largest builder reported a 41 percent drop in 2012 profit to 633 million euros as its phone unit suffered from competition. That still beat the average analyst estimate of 584 million euros.
Swiss Life Holding AG (SLHN) jumped 8.7 percent to 151.90 francs, the largest increase since March 2009, as Switzerland’s biggest life insurer reported higher operating profit in its home market and France.
Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Plc (BPTY), the gambling company that has a partnership with Atlantic City’s top-grossing casino, soared 8.9 percent to 150 pence, after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation authorizing online gambling in the state.
Kabel Deutschland slid 2.55 euros to 67.03 euros after three people familiar with the matter said Vodafone put on hold plans to approach Kabel about a takeover bid after leaks of a potential offer complicated internal discussions.
Royal Imtech NV (IM) sank 11 percent to 8.65 euros, its lowest price since May 2005, after it announced a 500 million-euro rights offer to help cut debt.
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