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05.09.2013 17:23

European stocks close

European stocks climbed as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterated that interest rates will stay low for an extended period, while the Federal Reserve said it saw a modest to moderate U.S. economic recovery.

The ECB today kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low after the 17-nation euro area returned to growth in the second quarter.

The euro-area economy expanded 0.3 percent in the three months through June. Recent economic indicators point to a further recovery in the second half as an index of services and factory output climbed to the highest level since June 2011 and economic confidence soared to a two-year high.

Bank of England officials left their bond-buying program unchanged today at 375 billion pounds ($586 billion), as forecast by all 38 economists in a survey. They also kept the key interest rate at a record low 0.5 percent.

National benchmark indexes advanced in 16 of the 18 western European markets today. France’s CAC 40 gained 0.7 percent, while Germany’s DAX added 0.5 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.9 percent.

Peugeot, Europe’s second-biggest automaker, rose 5.4 percent to 11.24 euros. CEO Philippe Varin forecast an increase in market share in the third quarter, according to an interview with Le Parisien.

A gauge of auto-related companies posted the largest gain of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the biggest maker of luxury cars, added 6 percent to 76.97 euros, its highest price since at least 1992. Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest automaker, climbed 1.2 percent to 172 euros. Renault SA advanced 5.8 percent to 56.50 euros.

Telecom Italia jumped 8.4 percent to 60.7 euro cents. La Repubblica reported that Sawiris may buy a stake in the phone company. The newspaper didn’t cite anyone.

TeliaSonera slid 1.9 percent to 47.56 Swedish kronor. Solidium Oy, Finland’s equity-asset manager, sold 1.6 percent of shares in the Stockholm-based company in an accelerated book building to institutional investors, it said in a statement.

Aker Solutions ASA slipped 1.6 percent to 91.50 Norwegian kroner. Nomura Holdings Inc. downgraded the oil services group controlled by billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke to reduce, similar to a sell rating, from buy.

Market Focus

  • The eurozone started the third quarter on a solid footing, according to PMI survey data
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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