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European shares rose to their highest level in more than five years before a publication of Federal Open Market Committee minutes later this week.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.5 percent to 324.70 at 4:37 p.m. in London. The benchmark gauge rose for six straight weeks as signs emerged the Federal Reserve won’t rush to reduce the pace of its stimulus, outweighing data that showed the euro-area economic recovery is faltering.
The FOMC will release minutes from its Oct. 29-30 meeting on Nov. 20. The minutes will probably reveal more details on the debate behind the decision to press on with the record $85 billion in monthly bond purchases. Economists estimate that policy makers will wait until a March 18-19 meeting to begin tapering monthly buying to $70 billion.
In Europe, a report on Nov. 21 may show that a composite index of euro-area services and manufacturing rose to 52 this month from 51.9 in October.
National benchmark indexes advanced in 15 of the 18 western-European markets today.
FTSE 100 6,722.71 +29.27 +0.44% CAC 40 4,322.75 +30.52 +0.71% DAX 9,234.98 +66.29 +0.72%
Aberdeen gained 15 percent to 489.7 pence. Lloyds, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, agreed to sell its Scottish Widows Investment division to Aberdeen for 560 million pounds ($903 million). The lender will receive a 9.9 percent stake in Scotland’s largest money manager, the companies said in a statement today. Aberdeen may pay a further 100 million pounds in cash over five years depending on the performance of partnership under which the fund manager will manage assets on behalf of the bank. Lloyds climbed 0.9 percent to 76 pence.
Sonova (SOON) advanced 5.4 percent to 124.70 Swiss francs after predicting that annual earnings before interest, taxes and amortization would grow as much as 14 percent, compared with a previous forecast of 9 percent to 13 percent. Sales will increase 8 percent to 10 percent, up from an earlier projection of 6 percent to 8 percent.
Medica SA (MDCA) jumped 4.8 percent to 21 euros. Korian agreed to buy Medica for 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in a deal that will create the largest French operator of nursing homes. Medica holders will receive Korian (KORI) stock valued at about 23.01 euros a share, the companies said in a statement today. That’s 15 percent above Medica’s closing price on Nov. 15. Korian declined 2.8 percent to 24.61 euros.
RWE AG (RWE) jumped 5.9 percent to 27.78 euros after Exane BNP Paribas raised Germany’s second-biggest utility to outperform from neutral, meaning investors should buy the stock, saying power prices in Germany have troughed and the group should benefit from a favorable outcome to German nuclear litigation.
Petrofac sank 17 percent to 1,200 pence, the biggest drop in the Stoxx 600, after the company predicted its profit growth will be “flat to modest” in 2014.
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