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European (SXXP) stocks advanced for a fourth day, as retailers and household-goods makers rallied, amid a report that showed American unemployment claims fell more than analysts estimated.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.7 percent to 295.14 at 4:30 p.m. in London, for the longest winning streak since Jan. 4.
National benchmark indexes climbed in all of the 18 western European markets except Portugal.
FTSE 100 6,416.14 +28.77 +0.45% CAC 40 3,775.66 +31.95 +0.85% DAX 7,871.63 +61.00 +0.78%
U.S. initial jobless claims dropped by 42,000 to 346,000 in the week ended April 6, from a revised 388,000 in the previous week, Labor Department figures showed in Washington. Economists surveyed had called for a drop to 360,000.
The ECB said it will look for signs in economic data that inflation could slow more than it currently anticipates.
“In the coming weeks, the Governing Council will monitor very closely all incoming information on economic and monetary developments and assess any impact on the outlook for price stability,” the ECB said in its monthly bulletin today, echoing President Mario Draghi’s April 4 policy statement. “The monetary policy stance will remain accommodative for as long as needed.”
Marks & Spencer rose 4.1 percent to 399.6 pence, its biggest gain since March 18. The U.K.’s largest clothing retailer reported faster sales growth than analysts projected. Food revenue at U.K. stores open at least a year climbed 4 percent in the 13 weeks ended March 30, topping the 2.5 percent median estimate.
Ashmore jumped 13 percent to 400.9 pence, the most since October 2008. The U.K. fund manager that invests in emerging markets reported net inflows of $7.3 billion in the quarter that ended March 31. Assets under management increased to 9.4 percent to $77.7 billion.
Axa SA (CS) climbed 1.6 percent to 13.93 euros after the Paris- based insurer agreed to sell a U.S. unit to Protective Life Corp. for $1.06 billion. Axa is selling Mony Life Insurance Co. and transferring some obligations to Birmingham, Alabama-based Protective, the companies said today in separate statements.
Man Group Plc (EMG) jumped 6.8 percent to 104.3 pence. The world’s largest publicly traded hedge-fund manager said it no longer needs to hold a $300 million capital buffer after it confirmed with the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority a change in the company’s regulatory status.
Hays Plc gained 8.6 percent to 101.4 pence, the highest price in 21 months, after the recruiter forecast operating profit for the full-year ending in June will be near the upper end of a 112.3 million-pound ($173 million) to 122.5 million- pound range.
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