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08.07.2013 17:20

European stocks close

European stocks rose, rebounding from their biggest decline in almost two weeks, amid speculation that economic data will improve and as Portugal’s politicians reached an agreement to hold the governing coalition together.

In Portugal, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho proposed that Paulo Portas, leader of the junior party in the governing coalition, become vice premier. The appointment helps cement a deal to hold the coalition together. Portugal’s PSI 20 Index retreated 2.7 percent last week when Portas resigned after Coelho appointed a new finance minister.

Euro-area finance ministers meeting in Brussels discussed Greece’s progress in meeting the conditions needed to obtain further aid from the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission.

Approval of an agreement at the meeting of euro-area finance ministers in Brussels would allow Greece, which has been unable to tap bond markets since 2010, to obtain a loan of 8.1 billion euros ($10.4 billion).

In Germany, a report showed that industrial production declined 1 percent in May, more than the 0.5 percent drop, which was the median forecast of 38 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. It surged a revised 2 percent in April.

National benchmark indexes advanced in all 18 western-European markets today. France’s CAC 40 gained 1.9 percent and Germany’s DAX climbed 2.1 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 1.2 percent. The PSI 20 rallied 2.3 percent.

Novartis climbed 1.3 percent to 68.50 Swiss francs as the company said its secukinumab drug proved better at clearing the skin of people with plaque psoriasis than Enbrel.

Lloyds advanced 3.8 percent to 67.1 pence. Former Standard Chartered Chairman Mervyn Davies is assembling a group of investors to bid for part of the U.K. government’s 39 percent stake in the lender, according to a person with knowledge of the talks. The group has yet to reach an agreement with the Treasury, the person added.

Bovis Homes Group Plc jumped 7.1 percent to 830 pence after the U.K. housebuilder said that increased volume and higher margins led to a bigger profit in the first half. The company said it will probably report a housing gross margin of about 23 percent, compared with 20.9 percent a year earlier.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc surged 5.6 percent to 1,050 pence, the highest price since its initial public offering in November 2005, after the company raised its full-year revenue forecast. It predicted that revenue will grow by 17 percent in 2013, compared with a previous projection of 13 percent.

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