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European stocks climbed to their highest level in almost five years as a report showed that U.S. consumer confidence rose more than economists had predicted, while banks and carmakers increased.
National benchmark indexes advanced in 15 of the 17 western-European markets that opened today. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.5 percent and Germany's DAX Index added 0.3 percent. France's CAC 40 Index climbed 0.6 percent to its highest level since July 2011. Markets in Norway were closed today for the Constitution Day public holiday.
Lloyds gained 3.2 percent to 62.84 pence, its highest price in more than two years. The U.K.'s largest mortgage lender exceeded the 61 pence threshold below which the Treasury has said it would recognize a loss from selling its shares. The state paid more than $30 billion to rescue the lender in 2008.
European carmakers, which have rallied 21 percent in the past four weeks, were the best-performing industry group on the Stoxx 600. PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault SA jumped 10 percent to 7.14 euros and 3.6 percent to 61.29 euros, respectively, after a report showed car sales increased 1.8 percent in April. Registrations rebounded in Germany and Spain.
FLSmidth sank 9.7 percent to 302 kroner after posting net income of 37 million kroner ($6.4 million) in the first quarter, less than the 231 million-krone average estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Sales of 5.65 billion kroner also missed analysts' predictions for revenue of 5.89 billion kroner.
Intertek Group Plc slid 1.9 percent to 3,385 pence, its biggest decline in almost two months. The consumer-goods testing company said that its operating-profit margin has narrowed from a year earlier as net income at its minerals unit declined. Profit at the minerals business will continue to drop into the second half of the year, the company forecast.
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