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18.12.2013 18:20

European stock close

European stocks rose, rebounding from yesterday’s decline, as investors waited for the Federal Reserve to decide whether to reduce its monthly asset purchases.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.8 percent to 313.92 at 4:30 p.m. in London. The gauge has still fallen 3.5 percent from this year’s high on Nov. 28 as better-than-estimated U.S. economic data led some investors to speculate the Fed will decide to slow bond purchases at today’s meeting.

“We will probably see Fed tapering as a gradual process rather than a dramatic change,” Hugh Cuthbert, who helps manage about $1 billion at SVM Asset Management Ltd. in Edinburgh, said by phone. “When markets go up a lot, people look for excuses to take profits. If the U.S. economy is improving and the hands on the till are doing the tapering in a measured way, then that’s good news.”

About 34 percent of economists surveyed by Bloomberg on Dec. 6 predicted that the U.S. central bank will decide to reduce its $85 billion monthly bond-buying program after European markets close today.

National benchmark indexes rose in 14 of the 18 western-European markets.

FTSE 100 6,492.08 +5.89 +0.09% CAC 40 4,109.51 +40.87 +1.00% DAX 9,181.75 +96.63 +1.06%  

TUI gained 3.7 percent to 11.66 euros as Europe’s biggest tour operator posted net income of 4.3 million euros ($5.9 million) for the financial year that ended on Sept. 30. The average analyst estimate had called for a loss. The company predicted that sales will climb next year as its TUI Travel Plc business attracts more customers.

Centrica climbed 1.6 percent to 328.4 pence. The energy supplier said it will extend its share-buyback program next year after subsidiary Direct Energy agreed to sell its gas-fired power stations in Texas to Blackstone Group LP for $685 million.

Electrolux AB (ELUXB) rose 3.5 percent to 159.50 kronor as UBS AG upgraded the home-appliances maker to buy from neutral. The brokerage cited the shares’ recent decline. The stock tumbled 20 percent from this year’s high on Aug. 2 through yesterday’s close. UBS also said that renewed economic growth in the euro area in 2014 would benefit the maker of dishwashers.

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Plc advanced 8.5 percent to 125.5 pence after forecasting a ">Endesa SA (ELE) jumped 7 percent to 22.16 euros after saying it will pay a gross dividend of 1.50 euro a share for 2013. The consensus analyst estimate had called for 38 euro cents a share, according to Kepler Cheuvreux.

Technip slid 6.3 percent to 62.80 euros, the largest decline on the Stoxx 600. The French oilfield-services company said late yesterday that the operating ">

Market Focus

  • U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 2.5 million barrels from the previous week
  • Canada: Retail Sales, m/m, November 0.2% (forecast 0.5%)
  • U.S.: Nonfarm Payrolls, January 227 (forecast 175)
  • Eurozone: Consumer Confidence, January -4.9
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