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European stocks rose, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbing for a fifth day, as investors awaited for Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen to deliver her first testimony on monetary policy. Asian shares and U.S. stock-index futures also gained.
Yellen testifies before the House Financial Services Committee today as investors weigh the pace of stimulus reductions against data this week that may show retail sales in the world’s largest economy stalled while jobless claims declined. Her prepared remarks will be released at 8:30 a.m. Washington time and the hearing will begin at 10 a.m.
Yellen’s appearance before Congress comes after the Federal Open Market Committee said last month it will cut monthly bond purchases by $10 billion to $65 billion, citing labor-market indicators that “were mixed but on balance showed further improvement” and economic growth that has “picked up in recent quarters.” Policy makers next meet on March 18-19.
PSA Peugeot Citroen increased 2 percent to 11.74 euros after Goldman Sachs added the company to its conviction-buy list. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG rose 1.4 percent to 83.16 euros after the New York-based bank recommended buying the stock. Nokian Renkaat Oyj climbed 3.7 percent to 33.49 euros after HSBC Holdings Plc and SEB AB raised their ratings on the biggest tiremaker in the Nordic region.
Michelin, Europe’s largest tiremaker, climbed 1.9 percent to 82.55 euros. The company will stick with its earnings targets for 2015 as it predicts volume will rise this year and first-half spending on supplies will drop. The manufacturer will probably achieve its 1 billion-euro ($1.4 billion) cost-savings goal for 2016, Chief Executive Officer Jean-Dominique Senard said. Michelin will raise its dividend 4.1 percent to 2.50 euros a share, the company said.
L’Oreal SA slipped 2.4 percent to 125.95 euros after earlier jumping as much as 4.5 percent. The world’s largest cosmetics company agreed to buy back 8 percent of its shares from Nestle SA for 6 billion euros. The maker of Maybelline mascara also reported a 4.8 percent increase in 2013 earnings, matching analysts’ estimates.
Barclays fell 2.3 percent to 268.8 pence. The U.K.’s second-largest lender by assets said its investment-bank unit had a pretax loss of 329 million pounds ($539 million) in the last three months of 2013, compared with a profit of 760 million pounds in the year-earlier period. The company said it will raise bonuses by 10 percent and cut jobs.
FTSE 100 6,651.4 +59.85 +0.91%
CAC 40 4,270.49 +33.36 +0.79%
DAX 9,411.03 +121.17 +1.30%
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