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European stocks advanced for the first time in three days as Federal Reserve chairman nominee Janet Yellen said she is committed to promoting a strong U.S. economic recovery and will ensure monetary stimulus isn’t removed too soon.
Yellen said the economy and labor market are performing “far short of their potential” and must improve before the central bank can begin reducing monetary stimulus.
Gross domestic product in the 17-nation euro area rose 0.1 percent in the three months through September, down from a 0.3 percent expansion in the second quarter, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That’s in line with the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of 41 economists.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.8 percent to 322.43 at the close of trading.
National benchmark indexes rose in 16 of the 18 western European markets today. France’s CAC 40 added 1 percent, Germany’s DAX climbed 1.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 increased 0.5 percent.
Bouygues jumped 6.2 percent to 29.52 euros. The French building and telecommunications company said third-quarter current operating profit rose to 542 million euros ($728 million) from 478 million euros a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast 465 million euros, according to the average of four estimates.
Zurich Insurance Group AG advanced 2.5 percent to 258.5 euros after it said third-quarter profit rose 64 percent, beating analysts’ estimates. Net income jumped to $1.1 billion from $672 million a year ago, Switzerland’s biggest insurer said in a statement. That beat the $993.5 million average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Burberry Group Plc added 1.9 percent to 1,489 pence after saying first-half sales exceeded 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) for the first time as online revenue increased. Adjusted pretax profit for the six months ended Sept. 30 rose to 174 million pounds from 173 million pounds a year earlier, the U.K.’s largest luxury-goods maker also said in a statement.
RWE slipped 5.1 percent to 25.76 euros. The German utility company said that recurrent net income, the measure used to calculate the dividend, will drop to 1.3 billion euros to 1.5 billion euros in 2014 from around 2.4 billion euros forecast for this year.
German peer EON AG slid 1.7 percent to 13.54 euros. A gauge of utilities companies dropped the most of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
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