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European stocks advanced, rebounding after the Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell to its lowest level in more than six weeks yesterday, as a U.S. report showed employers added more workers last month than forecast.
The Stoxx 600 climbed 1.3 percent to 295.4 at the close of trading. The benchmark gauge still fell 1.8 percent this week, its biggest weekly drop since April, amid growing speculation the Federal Reserve will scale back monetary stimulus measures as soon as September.
Payrolls in the world's biggest economy rose 175,000 in May after a revised 149,000 increase in April that was smaller than first estimated, a report from the Labour Department showed. The median forecast called for a 163,000 gain last month. The unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent from a four-year low of 7.5 percent as more Americans entered the labour force.
Curtail StimulusFed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke in May suggested the central bank could curtail its bond buying if the job market improves in a "real and sustainable way."
In Germany, the Bundesbank cut its forecasts for growth in Europe's largest economy for this year and next. The Frankfurt-based central bank reduced its 2013 growth projection to 0.3 percent from the 0.4 percent predicted in December, and said the economy would expand by 1.5 percent in 2014, compared with the previous estimate of 1.9 percent.
National benchmark indexes gained in 16 of the 18 western-European markets today.
FTSE 100 6,411.99 +75.88 +1.20% CAC 40 3,872.59 +58.31 +1.53% DAX 8,254.68 +155.87 +1.92%
Severn Trent rallied 2.5 percent to 2,070 pence in London after a consortium of investors including Kuwait Investment Office, Borealis Infrastructure Management Inc. and Britain's Universities Superannuation Scheme raised their offer for the U.K. utility to 5.3 billion pounds ($8.22 billion).
Elan gained 5.3 percent to 9.97 euros in Dublin after Royalty Pharma increased its offer to buy the Irish drugmaker by 5 percent to $6.7 billion. The all-cash bid of $13 per American depositary receipt is higher than a previous bid of $12.50 and compares with the $12.68 closing price on June 6.
KPN rallied 6 percent to 1.55 euros. Sanford Bernstein raised its recommendation on the Dutch phone operator partly owned by Carlos Slim's America Movil SAB to outperform from market perform, meaning investors should buy the shares.
Ipsen rose 2.1 percent to 27.60 euros after Goldman Sachs upgraded its rating on the French drugmaker to buy from neutral, citing a turning point in its transition to growth.
Belgacom SA added 2.9 percent to 17.44 euros. Morgan Stanley raised the stock to equal weight from underweight, saying the stock has fallen 30 percent from its peak last year and that even if it cut its dividend by about 31 percent, it would still yield 9 percent.
Hochtief AG (HOT) declined 2 percent to 50.58 euros. Berenberg Bank AG reduced its recommendation on Germany's biggest builder to hold from buy, citing a worsening outlook for Australian construction and mining.
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