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12.08.2013 17:21

European stock close

European stocks closed little changed at a 10-week high as a rally in mining companies offset slower-than-forecast economic growth in Japan.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased less than 0.1 percent to 306.08 at the close of trading, having earlier risen as much as 0.2 percent ad declined 0.6 percent. The benchmark gauge added 0.6 percent last week as better-than-forecast economic data in Europe and China outweighed concern that the Federal Reserve will reduce the pace of its bond-purchase program. The measure has rallied 9.4 percent this year.

Japan’s Topix lost 0.6 percent on a report that showed the nation’s economy expanded an annualized 2.6 percent in the second quarter, slowing from a revised 3.8 percent in the previous three months. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for 3.6 percent growth.

Still, the German Economy Ministry is predicting that growth in the second quarter was about 0.75 percent, according to a person familiar with the forecast, who asked not to be identified because the projection is confidential. That exceeds the 0.6 percent median of economist estimates. The Federal Statistics Office will release the data on Wednesday.

Euro-area stocks have risen half as much as global benchmarks this year, leaving them cheaper than equities in the U.S. and Asia as the region’s economy starts to recover from the longest recession on record.

National benchmark indexes advanced in 10 of the 18 western European markets today.

FTSE 100 6,574.34 -9.05 -0.14% CAC 40 4,071.68 -4.87 -0.12% DAX 8,359.25 +20.94 +0.25%  

Fresnillo, the world’s biggest primary silver producer, rallied 6.6 percent to 1,103 pence, leading a gauge of mining shares to the best performance among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600. Randgold Resources Ltd. advanced 2.5 percent to 4,841 pence. Gold and silver climbed for a fourth day.

Prudential Earnings

Prudential, the U.K.’s biggest insurer by market value, rose 4.1 percent to 1,232 pence, the highest price since at least September 1988. Operating profit climbed to 1.42 billion pounds ($2.2 billion) in the first half from 1.16 billion pounds a year earlier. That beat the 1.3 billion-pound estimate of 17 analysts provided by the company.

Catlin Group Ltd. rose 1.1 percent to 495.4 pence as HSBC Holdings Plc raised the second-largest Lloyd’s of London insurer by market value to overweight from neutral, meaning investors should buy the shares.

Opap SA gained 4 percent to 7.49 euros after Emma Delta, a Cyprus-based fund, signed a contract to buy a 33 percent stake in the Greek gambling company.

Telekom Austria slid 1.6 percent to 5.63 euros. Second-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell to 330.3 million euros ($439 million) from 364.8 million euros a year earlier. That compared with the average 332.7 million-euro analyst estimate.

Deutsche Boerse AG lost 2.7 percent to 53.94 euros. Equinet Bank AG trimmed its rating on the operator of the Frankfurt stocks exchange to sell from hold, citing the risk of consensus earnings downgrades.

Market Focus

  • The Bank of Japan decided by a 7-2 majority vote to hold the interest rate at -0.10%
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • 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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