European stocks climbed, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index extending its highest level since June 2008, as companies from ING Groep NV (INGA) to Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) posted quarterly earnings that beat estimates.
The Stoxx 600 rose 0.6 percent to 303.67 at the close. The benchmark gauge rallied yesterday to its highest level since June 2008 as companies from HSBC Holdings Plc to Allianz SE reported earnings that beat estimates. It has gained 8.6 percent so far in 2013, its best start to a year since 2006.
German industrial production increased for a second month in March, a report showed. Production rose 1.2 percent from February, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said. Economists surveyed had forecast a 0.1 percent decline.
In China, a report from the General Administration of Customs showed that exports rose 14.7 percent in April. That exceeded the 9.2 percent median forecast of analysts. Imports climbed 16.8 percent, compared with the average projection of 13 percent. The trade surplus for the world's second-largest economy widened to $18.2 billion.
National benchmark indexes gained in 13 of the 18 western- European markets today.
FTSE 100 6,583.48 +26.18 +0.40% CAC 40 3,956.28 +34.96 +0.89% DAX 8,249.71 +67.93 +0.83%
ING climbed 3.1 percent to 6.79 euros as the Dutch lender posted first-quarter net income of 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion). That beat the 1.48 billion euros average prediction of analysts. The financial-services company registered a 950 million-euro gain for the period from selling assets in Hong Kong, Thailand and Macau. Chief Executive Officer Jan Hommen said in a statement that the company will hold an initial public offering for its European insurance business in 2014. ING plans to save 1 billion euros a year by 2015.
Deutsche Telekom gained 4.7 percent to 9.56 euros after posting first-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, adjusted for some items, of 4.29 billion euros. That beat the 4.24 billion-euro average estimate of analysts. Germany's biggest phone company said that its U.S. mobile-phone customers rose for the first time in 15 months.
Delhaize rose 1.4 percent to 48.85 euros after the owner of the Food Lion supermarket chain said in a statement that Pierre- Olivier Beckers will stand down as CEO. Delhaize also reported a first-quarter profit of 61 million euros.
Teleperformance SA jumped 6.2 percent to 36.24 euros, its highest price since January 2001, after saying so-called organic sales grew by 12 percent in the first quarter, driven by business in Latin America. The French operator of call centers also said its margin on earnings before interest, taxes and amortization, excluding one- off items, will grow by 9.3 percent to 9.5 percent in 2013, confirming its previous guidance.
Standard Chartered dropped 4.4 percent to 1,625 pence, its biggest plunge since August 2012. Britain's second-largest lender by market value said first-quarter operating profit declined because wholesale-banking revenue decreased.
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