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European stocks gained for an eighth day as companies from Royal Philips NV to Akzo Nobel AG reported profit that beat estimates and investors speculated the Federal Reserve may maintain stimulus measures into next year.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.3 percent to 319.51 at 4:35 p.m. in London, the highest level since June 2008. The gauge has risen 2.9 percent this month as U.S. lawmakers agreed to extend the government’s borrowing authority until 2014 and ended the first partial government shutdown in 17 years.
National benchmark indexes climbed in 15 of the 18 western European markets.
FTSE 100 6,630.65 +8.07 +0.12% CAC 40 4,273 -13.03 -0.30% DAX 8,859.2 -5.90 -0.07%
In the U.S., the Fed will maintain its monthly bond-buying program until March after a 16-day government shutdown trimmed fourth-quarter economic growth by 0.3 percentage point and disrupted the flow of data, according to the median forecast of economists in survey conducted Oct. 17-18. Policy makers will taper asset purchases to $70 billion from $85 billion, the poll forecast.
A previous survey had indicated the U.S. central bank would start trimming stimulus measures at last month’s gathering. The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee’s last two meetings this year are scheduled for Oct. 29-30 and Dec. 17-18.
A release tomorrow may show U.S. payrolls increased by 180,000 in September, after gaining 169,000 a month earlier, economists forecast. The government shutdown delayed the Labor Department data originally due on Oct. 4.
Philips climbed 5.3 percent to 25.73 euros, its highest price since July 2010. The company said third-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and one-time items rose to 634 million euros, compared with the 567 million-euro average estimate of analysts.
Akzo surged 7 percent to 51.82 euros, its biggest gain since December, after saying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization climbed 7 percent to 456 million euros. Analysts on average had estimated 444 million euros.
Actelion jumped 5.7 percent to 68.25 Swiss francs as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said late Oct. 18 that it approved the use of Opsumit once daily for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension.
SAP added 4.9 percent to 56.15 euros after saying third-quarter operating profit adjusted for some items rose to 1.3 billion euros as revenue from the Hana database product surged 79 percent. The world’s largest maker of business-management software reiterated a July forecast for double-digit percentage growth for software-related services sales this year, excluding currency swings.
Tod’s SpA (TOD) slipped 3 percent to 124.50 euros and Hugo Boss AG fell 2.4 percent to 93.25 euros after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. downgraded both stocks to sell from neutral.
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