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European stocks rose, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index posting the longest winning streak in two months, after U.S. jobless claims dropped more than forecast and markets reopened following the Christmas holiday.
The Stoxx 600 rose 1.1 percent to 327.68 at the close of trading, for its sixth consecutive gain, the longest winning streak since Oct. 22. The gauge climbed 2 percent this week and has added 17 percent this year, putting it on course for its largest annual increase since 2009, as the European Central Bank and the Bank of England pledged to leave interest rates near record lows for a prolonged period.
In the U.S., a Labor Department report yesterday showed that jobless claims declined by 42,000 to 338,000 in the week ended Dec. 21. The median forecast of 42 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a drop to 345,000.
National benchmark indexes advanced in all 18 western-European markets today. France’s CAC 40 gained 1.4 percent, Germany’s DAX added 1.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.9 percent.
Vestas Wind Systems climbed 1.8 percent to 159.80 kroner. The world’s biggest wind-turbine maker said Dec. 24 that it won a 110-megawatt order from an undisclosed customer in the U.S.
Novo Nordisk rose 1.1 percent to 986 kroner. The FDA approved the company’s Tretten drug for the prevention of bleeding in adults and children who have a rare clotting disorder, according to an announcement late Dec. 23.
FLSmidth & Co. A/S gained 3.6 percent to 290.30 kroner as the Danish mining-equipment maker said it received an order worth 515 million kroner ($95 million) to supply a cement production line in Qatar.
Electrawinds SE jumped 7.7 percent to 91.4 euro cents after the renewable-energy developer and its Electrawinds NV unit received court protection for three months to negotiate a reorganization with creditors.
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