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European stocks advanced, extending a weekly gain, as a measure of euro-area economic confidence rose in March more than forecast. U.S. index futures and Asian shares also climbed.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.7 percent to 333.83 at 10:36 a.m. in London, extending this week’s advance to 1.8 percent. The benchmark gauge has still dropped 1.2 percent so far in March amid tension between Russia and the West over Ukraine’s Crimea region.
A gauge of economic confidence in the euro zone rose to 102.4 in March, from 101.2 a month earlier, beating analyst forecasts for a rise to 101.4. Separate data showed a measure of the region’s industrial confidence stood at minus 3.3 this month, compared with estimates for minus 3.5.
Intesa Sanpaolo gained 5 percent to 2.44 euros. Italy’s second-biggest bank forecast dividend payouts of 1 billion euros this year and 2 billion euros next year. The lender also said its fourth-quarter loss widened to 5.19 billion euros from 83 million euros a year earlier, as it wrote down goodwill and set aside more money for bad loans. Analysts on average had estimated a profit of 210 million euros.
Pirelli climbed 3 percent to 11.56 euros after reporting 2013 earnings before interest and taxes of 791 million euros, beating the 789 million-euro average analyst projection. The Italian tiremaker also cut its forecast for 2014 revenue to about 6.2 billion euros from 6.6 billion euros, citing the effect of currency swings.
Deutsche Wohnen AG advanced 1.8 percent to 15.64 euros after saying funds from operations excluding divestments, a measure of a property company’s ability to generate cash, climbed 68 percent from a year earlier to 114.5 million euros. Germany’s second-biggest residential landlord by market value had forecast 110 million euros. FFO in 2014 will be at least 210 million euros, the company said in a statement.
FTSE 100 6,604.59 +16.27 +0.25%
CAC 40 4,400.54 +21.48 +0.49%
DAX 9,538.6 +87.39 +0.92%
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