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23.04.2013 17:20

European stock close:

European stocks jumped the most in eight months as ARM (ARM) Holdings Plc and Cie. Financiere Richemont SA reported results that topped estimates and speculation grew that the region's central bank will cut interest rates.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) soared 2.4 percent to 292.63 at the close of trading, the biggest jump since Aug. 3.

Stocks extended gains even after a report showed euro-area services and manufacturing output shrank for a 15th month in April. The reading of 46.5 in the Markit Economics purchasing- managers index boosted speculation the European Central Bank will trim interest rates when it meets next week.

A separate report showed Chinese manufacturing expanded at a slower pace than forecasts this month. The preliminary PMI for April released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit stood at 50.5, compared with a final 51.6 in March. That was below the median economist estimate of 51.5.

National benchmark indexes climbed in all 18 western European markets, except Greece.

FTSE 100 6,406.12 +125.50 +2.00% CAC 40 3,783.05 +130.92 +3.58% DAX 7,658.21 +180.10 +2.41%

ARM surged 12 percent to 972 pence, the highest price since March 2000. Revenue in the quarter ending in March rose 29 percent to 170.3 million pounds ($260 million) amid demand for it graphics and processing technology, the company said. Analysts had predicted 160 million pounds.

Richemont (CFR) rallied 8.3 percent to 73.80 Swiss francs, the biggest gain since December 2008. The Swiss company said full- year net income climbed about 30 percent as the dollar's strength against the euro boosted sales growth. Analysts had expected a 25 percent gain in profit.

STMicroelectronics NV, a maker of semiconductors, rallied 9.2 percent to 6.13 euros even after reporting a first-quarter net loss. Chief Executive Officer Carlo Bozotti told analysts on a conference call he expects "significant growth" in the second half of 2013, driven by new products and improved demand.

Telecom Italia SpA (TIT) increased 6.3 percent to 61.4 euro cents. The Italian phone company that's exploring a separation of its fixed-line assets is considering a sale of an initial 30 percent stake in the new company to state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, two people familiar with the matter said.

Imtech tumbled 5.6 percent to 8.39 euros after the Dutch provider of stadium infrastructure for the London Olympics increased a writedown on projects in Germany by 70 million euros ($91 million) to about 220 million euros.

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