European stocks advanced, following a two-day decline, as telecommunications companies climbed, outweighing U.S. consumer confidence and regional manufacturing reports that trailed economists’ estimates.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2 percent to 313.2 at 4:30 p.m. in London. The equity benchmark has climbed 5.3 percent in September, extending its rally this year to 12 percent, as the Fed refrained from reducing its monthly bond buying. The gauge has risen 9.9 percent in the current quarter, on course for its biggest gain in four years.
In the U.S., the Conference Board’s consumer-confidence index slipped to 79.7 this month from a revised 81.8 in August. The median forecast of economists had called for a reading of 79.9.
A measure of manufacturing in the region covered by the Fed Bank of Richmond shrank in September. The factory index, which covers North Carolina, South Carolina, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and most of West Virginia, dropped to 0 from 14 last month. Economists had predicted the gauge would decline to 12.
In Germany, the Ifo institute’s business-climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, advanced to 107.7 from a revised 107.6 in August. That missed the median economist forecast of 108.
National benchmark indexes advanced in 14 out of 18 western-European markets.
FTSE 100 6,571.46 +14.09 +0.21% CAC 40 4,195.61 +23.53 +0.56% DAX 8,664.6 +29.31 +0.34%
Telecom Italia climbed 1.7 percent to 60 euro cents. Telefonica agreed to pay 324 million euros ($437 million) to increase its stake in Telco SpA, a holding company that owns 22.4 percent of Telecom Italia, to 66 percent from 46 percent.
Nokia, the Finnish phonemaker that has agreed to sell its handsets business to Microsoft Corp., climbed 2.4 percent to 4.91 euros. HTC infringed on two patent rights held by Nokia, U.S. International Trade Commission Judge Thomas Pender said in a notice yesterday. A six-member commission will review the judge’s findings before deciding whether to block any imports.
Total added 2.6 percent to 43.20 euros after Barclays raised its recommendation on the stock to equal weight, which is similar to hold, from underweight. The brokerage said Europe’s third-biggest oil company can better control its capital expenditure than it had predicted. Total gave detailed capital-spending plans for exploration and production at its investor day, according to Barclays.
Close Brothers Group Plc gained 4.9 percent to 1,189 pence as the British financial services company said full-year net income rose 20 percent to 119.4 million pounds ($191 million). Its asset-management unit swung to a profit of 4 million pounds from a 4.3 million-pound loss a year earlier.
Burckhardt tumbled 7.3 percent to 358.25 Swiss francs, its biggest decline in two years, after saying that lower-than-expected gross margins on two major compressor-system projects will lead the company to make provisions in the six months through September.
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