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20.12.2013 18:21

European stock close

European shares rose for a third day, heading for their biggest weekly jump since April, as insurers and banks rallied.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.5 percent to 321.11 at 4:38 p.m. in London, bringing its increase for the week to 3.7 percent, after the Federal Reserve said it would start paring its record stimulus. Shares extended their rally today after a report showed the U.S. economy expanded in the third quarter at a faster rate than previously forecast.

The Stoxx 600 climbed 1.7 percent yesterday for its biggest two-day gain since June after the Federal Open Market Committee said Dec. 18 that it will lower monthly asset purchases to $75 billion from $85 billion. The central bank also said it will probably hold key interest rates within the current range of zero to 0.25 percent “well past the time that the unemployment rate declines below 6.5 percent,” according to its statement.

U.S. gross domestic product climbed at a 4.1 percent annualized rate in the quarter ended September, Commerce Department figures showed. That’s the strongest pace since the final three months of 2011 and up from a previous estimate of 3.6 percent. The median forecast of economists projected a 3.6 percent pace after 2.5 percent in the second quarter.

Data from Nuremberg-based GfK SE showed a gauge of German consumer confidence will climb to 7.6 in January from 7.4 this month, the highest reading since August 2007. A U.K. consumer sentiment index by GfK NOP Ltd. dropped 1 point in December from November to minus 13, the London-based research group said. The median forecast of economists called for a 1-point increase to minus 11.

National benchmark indexes rose in 16 of the 18 western-European markets.

FTSE 100 6,606.58 +21.88 +0.33% CAC 40 4,193.77 +16.74 +0.40% DAX 9,400.18 +64.44 +0.69%

Carnival advanced 3.3 percent to 2,389 pence. Credit Suisse raised its rating to outperform from neutral and Natixis increased it to neutral from reduce. The world’s largest cruise operator posted fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates yesterday.

German healthcare provider Rhoen Klinikum AG jumped 5.2 percent to 21.43 euros, its highest price since June 2012. Shareholder B Braun Melsungen AG withdrew its lawsuit against Rhoen-Klinikum’s sale of 43 clinics and other assets to Fresenius SE’s Helios unit, according to a statement.

Telenet Group Holding NV rose 2.9 percent to 42.12 euros after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded the stock to buy from neutral, citing growth prospects.

BAE retreated 4.5 percent to 422.1 pence. Europe’s largest defense company said yesterday that the United Arab Emirates stopped talks to buy its Eurofighter Typhoon, just weeks after Prime Minister David Cameron lobbied for them in Dubai. Negotiations with Saudi Arabia over pricing are also dragging out, delaying BAE’s efforts to beef up its export business.

Lundin Petroleum AB lost 7.8 percent to 121.20 kronor after Norway said the Swedish oil explorer drilled a dry well.

Market Focus

  • The Bank of Japan decided by a 7-2 majority vote to hold the interest rate at -0.10%
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • U.S. commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 4.7 million barrels from the previous week
  • Australian unemployment rate stable at 5.6% in June
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