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06.12.2013 18:20

European stock close

European stocks rose, ending a five-day losing streak and rebounding from their lowest level since Oct. 14, after a U.S. jobs report showed employers added more workers than forecast in November.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.6 percent to 316.42 at 4:34 p.m. in London. The gauge declined 2.7 percent this week. It’s still rallied 13 percent in 2013 as central banks around the world have pledged to keep interest rates low for a prolonged period of time.

A Labor Department report in Washington showed U.S. employers added 203,000 workers last month following a revised 200,000 gain in October, the strongest back-to-back gain since February-March. The median economist estimate called for a 184,000 advance. The jobless rate fell to 7 percent in November, a five-year low. Economists had forecast the rate would fall to 7.2 percent.

Investors are seeking to gauge when the Federal Reserve will reduce stimulus amid signs of an improving U.S. economy. Reports yesterday showed the annualized growth rate in the third quarter rose the most since the first three months of 2012, while jobless claims unexpectedly declined last week.

Out of the 17 western European markets open today, 13 benchmark indexes rose.

FTSE 100 6,551.99 +53.66 +0.83% CAC 40 4,129.37 +29.46 +0.72% DAX 9,172.41 +87.46 +0.96%

The Stoxx 600 retreated 3.3 percent in the past five days, posting its longest losing streak since June. The index fell 0.9 percent yesterday as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said that financial-market developments and low domestic demand may hurt the euro area’s economy.

Berkeley Group jumped 11 percent to 2,539 pence. The U.K. housebuilder focused on London and the southeast said net income increased to 131 million pounds ($214 million) in the six months through October from 107.5 million pounds a year earlier. Berkeley declared an interim dividend of 90 pence a share.

LSE gained 2.7 percent to 1,624 pence. Bank of America raised its rating on the operator of Europe’s oldest independent bourse to a buy from neutral. The brokerage cited increasing evidence that LCH.Clearnet Group Ltd. its share of clearing and boosted its price estimate to 1,870 pence from 1,700 pence.

FirstGroup Plc added 5 percent to 116.6 pence. The rail company named John McFarlane as its chairman, effective Jan. 1. McFarlane, who is chairman of insurer Aviva Plc, will replace Martin Gilbert.

Givaudan lost 2.1 percent to 1,210 Swiss francs. Nestle, the world’s largest food company, plans to sell all of its 926,562 Givaudan shares at yesterday’s closing price to institutional investors. The Nespresso coffee maker held a 10 percent stake as of Dec. 31, making it Givaudan’s second-biggest owner. Nestle rose 1.1 percent to 65.20 francs.

L’Oreal SA (OR) gained 3.8 percent to 127 euros. Nestle is the second-biggest investor in the French cosmetics maker and restrictions on selling its 29 percent stake will expire in April. Many analysts say Nestle will probably sell and exit about 22.4 billion euros ($29.5 billion) richer or simply maintain the position since the holding today generates about a 10th of its net income.

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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