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European stocks advanced to the highest level in six years, with Unilever leading food and beverage makers higher. U.S. index futures climbed, while Asian shares were little changed.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.3 percent to 336.56 at 11 a.m. in London, its highest level since January 2008.
German data showed investor confidence slipped in January after gaining for five straight months. The ZEW Center for European Economic Research said its index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months in advance, fell to 61.7 from 62 in December. That missed the median economist estimate for an increase to 64.
Unilever (UNA) gained 3.5 percent to 29.85 euros in Amsterdam after saying fourth-quarter sales excluding acquisitions and currency fluctuations rose 4.1 percent, beating the median analyst estimate that called for a 3.9 percent increase.
A gauge of food and drink stocks in the Stoxx 600 rose to its highest level since May, posting the biggest gain among 19 industry groups. Danone, the world’s largest yogurt maker, added 2.1 percent to 52.15 euros. Pernod Ricard SA added 2 percent to 82.94 euros.
Wirecard jumped 5.2 percent to 32.14 euros, the highest price since its October 2000 initial public offering. The provider of software for electronic payments said sales increased to 482.2 million euros ($652.6 million) last year, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 15 percent to 126 million euros. The company predicted “strong growth in all core markets” for 2014.
SAP fell 1.1 percent to 59.97 euros. The company said operating profit adjusted for some items will probably reach 35 percent of sales by 2017, later than the previous target of 2015. Analysts (SAB) had predicted SAP would miss the 2015 profitability target.
FTSE 100 6,851.7 +14.97 +0.22%
CAC 40 4,340.3 +17.44 +0.40%
DAX 9,758.32 +42.42 +0.44%
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