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European stocks rose, rallying the most in eight months, as investors speculated that the military standoff in Ukraine will not lead to war.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 2.1 percent to 337.15 at the close of trading. The benchmark extended gains after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he sees no need to invade Ukraine and is not considering annexing its Crimea region. The gauge slumped 2.3 percent yesterday after Russia’s parliament granted Putin the authority to use force in Ukraine.
About 16,000 Russian soldiers have blocked airports and main roads on the Crimean peninsula, Yuriy A. Sergeyev, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations, said yesterday in New York. Russia’s ambassador to the UN said that threats posed by extremists legitimized his country’s intervention in Crimea, where Russian speakers make up the majority. The U.S. ambassador to the UN condemned the mobilization and said “there was no evidence of threats against ethnic Russians.”
Putin ended a series of military exercises involving about 150,000 soldiers in western Russia today and ordered the troops back to base, according to a statement from the Kremlin.
National benchmark indexes advanced in every western-European market except Iceland today. France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX rallied 2.5 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 increased 1.7 percent.
Glencore climbed 1.7 percent to 331.9 pence after forecasting that last year’s $29 billion takeover of Xstrata will generate savings in excess of $2.4 billion in 2014. That exceeded an estimate in September of $2 billion. Glencore also said pro-forma adjusted net income fell 23 percent to $4.58 billion, beating Citigroup Inc.’s $4.01 billion projection.
Beiersdorf advanced 2 percent to 73.52 euros after posting net income of 543 million euros in 2013, more than the average analyst estimate of 532.6 million euros. The company also said profitability will increase in 2014. Earnings before interest and tax amounted to 13.2 percent of sales last year.
Ashtead Group jumped 13 percent to 956 pence. The construction-equipment rental company also said Ebitda surged to 162.2 million pounds ($270 million) from 121 million pounds during the three months ending in January.
GAM Holding AG added 3.6 percent to 15.85 Swiss francs as the Zurich-based money manager proposed a payout of 65 centimes per share, exceeding the 60-centime projection calculated by Bloomberg. It also said that earnings per share climbed to 1.26 francs ($1.42) in 2013 from 94 centimes in 2012.
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