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European stocks advanced, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbing the most in more than three weeks, as U.S. and U.K. markets reopen following a holiday. U.S. index futures and Asian shares also gained.
The Stoxx 600 increased 1.3 percent to 308.13 at 10:49 a.m. in London, extending its rally this month to 3.9 percent. The gauge has climbed for 12 consecutive months, its longest winning streak since 1997. The equity benchmark has rallied 10 percent so far this year, its best start to a year since 1998, as central banks around the world maintained their monetary stimulus.
A separate release at 13:00 GMT may show that house prices increased in March. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities gained 1 percent in March, according to the median forecast of economists. That would mean house prices have climbed 10.2 percent from a year earlier, their biggest jump since April 2006. The measure rose 1.2 percent in February.
AstraZeneca (AZN) climbed 3.3 percent to 3,541 pence. The company agreed to buy the U.S. developer of an experimental treatment for patients with high levels of triglycerides, a contributory factor to heart attacks and strokes. AstraZeneca's cholesterol-lowering drug, Crestor, will face competition from generic treatments in the U.S. from 2016.
Victrex advanced 5 percent to 1,710 pence. The U.K. maker of heat-resistant plastics for the auto, energy and health-care industries raised its interim dividend by 15 percent to 10.35 pence per share. Revenue climbed 1 percent in the first half to 106.4 million pounds ($161 million) from a year earlier.
Aixtron jumped 4.5 percent to 13.15 euros for the largest two-day advance in more than a month. Natixis raised the stock to buy from neutral, citing a rebounding LED industry that the company should benefit from.
Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, the owner of the Cartier brand, added 2 percent to 90.80 francs. Switzerland's watch exports increased 5.7 percent in April from a year earlier, the country's Federal Customs Offices said today.
FTSE 100 6,765.1 +110.76 +1.66%
CAC 40 4,054.24 +59.08 +1.48%
DAX 8,476.72 +93.42 +1.11%
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