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01.08.2013 10:32

European stocks rose for a fourth day

European stocks rose for a fourth day as banks rallied on better-than-forecast profit at Societe Generale SA and Lloyds Banking Group Plc while Chinese manufacturing data boosted mining companies.

The ECB will leave its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.5 percent today, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey. The central bank announces its decision at 1:45 p.m. in Frankfurt and President Mario Draghi holds a press conference 45 minutes later.

In the U.K., the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee will maintain its asset-purchase target at 375 billion pounds ($571 billion) and its key rate at a record low of 0.5 percent, economists estimated before the decision at noon in London.

Governor Mark Carney will present the MPC’s review of steering policy expectations next week, after signaling in July that interest rates will remain low for an extended period.

The final reading of a euro-area manufacturing gauge, based on a survey of purchasing managers, was for 50.3, Markit Economics said. That beat the initial reading and average economists’ forecast of 50.1 and signals expansion for the first time in two years.

An index of banks was the best-performing industry group in the Stoxx 600. Societe Generale rallied 7.7 percent to 32.54 euros after posting second-quarter profit that more than doubled and beat analysts’ estimates.

Lloyds advanced 7.8 percent to 73.83 pence. Britain’s biggest mortgage lender posted its first profitable six-month period in three years.

A gauge of commodity producers advanced for the first time in three days. China’s official manufacturing index for July unexpectedly rose to 50.3, compared with economists’ estimates for a drop to 49.8. Another manufacturing gauge released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics fell to 47.7, an 11-month low.

Rio Tinto added 1.5 percent to 3,000 pence and BHP rose 1.1 percent to 1,899.5 pence. Anglo American Plc gained 2.3 percent to 1,441 pence.

Metro AG climbed 6.4 percent to 27.59 euros as Germany’s largest retailer reported second-quarter earnings before interest, taxes and some items of 276 million euros ($366 million). Analysts on average had estimated 269.2 million euros.

FTSE 100 6,646.55 +25.49 +0.38%

CAC 40 4,010.2 +17.51 +0.44%

DAX 8,368.78 +92.81 +1.12%

Market Focus

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  • U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 4.7 million barrels from the previous week
  • Australian unemployment rate stable at 5.6% in June
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