European stocks climbed, extending a near five-year high for the region's benchmark gauge, as financial companies from HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) to Allianz SE reported results that topped analysts' estimates.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) rose 0.3 percent to 301.74 at the close of trading. The gauge has climbed 7.9 percent this year to its highest level since June 2008 as central banks maintained stimulus measures.
National benchmark indexes climbed in 16 out of 18 western European markets today.
FTSE 100 6,557.3 +35.84 +0.55% CAC 40 3,921.32 +14.28 +0.37% DAX 8,181.78 +69.70 +0.86%
HSBC (HSBA) rose 3 percent to 735 pence after saying first-quarter pretax profit almost doubled to $8.43 billion, as bad debts declined and it cut costs. That beat the $8.04 billion average estimate of nine analysts surveyed.
Societe Generale (GLE) increased 5.7 percent to 30.14 euros after it said first-quarter profit fell 50 percent to 364 million euros ($476 million), hurt by accounting charges related to its debt. That still beat the 317 million-euro average estimate of analysts.
Commerzbank (CBK) added 2.6 percent to 11.09 euros. Germany's second-largest lender reported a first-quarter loss of 94 million euros after booking costs associated with firing staff, compared with a profit of 355 million euros a year earlier. That still beat the average loss estimate of 153.7 million euros of analysts surveyed.
Allianz (ALV) gained 3.6 percent to 120.70 euros after reporting a 24 percent rise in first-quarter profit to about 1.7 billion euros after results improved at all of its businesses. Operating profit of 2.8 billion euros also topped analysts' estimates.
Hochtief AG (HOT) advanced 5.9 percent to 56.51 euros. Germany's largest construction company agreed to sell its airports division to Public Sector Pension Investment Board of Canada for about 1.5 billion euros as it streamlines its business to focus on more profitable units.
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