Europe Stocks Rise as U.S. Hiring Speeds Up; Cobham Gains

European (SXXP) stocks rose, rebounding from yesterday’s biggest drop since November, after a report showed hiring in U.S. companies accelerated and as investors with more than half of Greek bonds agreed to a debt swap.

Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1) advanced 2.3 percent after UBS AG recommended buying the stock. Cobham Plc (COB) jumped the most since at least 1989 after saying it’s in talks for acquisitions. Adidas AG (ADS) fell 3 percent as it forecast 2012 net income that missed analyst estimates.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.6 percent to 260.10 at the close in London. The benchmark gauge retreated 2.7 percent yesterday, the biggest drop since Nov. 21, and has still gained 6.4 percent so far this year.

“We don’t think yesterday’s move is the beginning of a longer-term correction, so it rather presents a good opportunity to add to positions,” Patrick Moonen, senior strategist at ING Investment Management in The Hague, Netherlands, said in a telephone interview. “Overall, if you look at macro data, surprises are still positive -- in the U.S. but also in the U.K. and the euro zone.”

A report from ADP Employer Services showed companies in the U.S. added 216,000 workers in February, compared with 170,000 in January. The median estimate in the Bloomberg News survey called for a 215,000 increase.

National benchmark indexes rose in 14 of the 18 western European (SXXP) markets. France’s CAC 40 added 0.9 percent. Germany’s DAX climbed 0.6 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 0.4 percent.

Greek Debt Swap

Investors holding a total of at least 120 billion euros ($157 billion), or 58 percent of the Greek bonds eligible for the nation’s debt swap, have so far indicated they will participate in the biggest-ever sovereign restructuring. The offer, which ends at 10 p.m. Athens time tomorrow, aims to reduce the the 206 billion euros of privately held Greek debt by 53.5 percent.

Greece’s largest banks, most of the country’s pension funds, and more than 30 European banks and insurers including BNP Paribas SA, Commerzbank AG and Assicurazioni Generali SpA have pledged to accept the offer. The government said it will use collective action clauses to force holders of Greek-law bonds into the swap if necessary.

German factory orders unexpectedly declined in January. Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, fell 2.7 percent from December, when they gained 1.6 percent, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said. The median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.6 percent rise.

Deutsche Boerse, Cobham

Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1), blocked from buying NYSE Euronext by European regulators last month, advanced 2.3 percent to 47.01 euros, the most since Feb. 20. UBS AG recommended buying the stock saying concerns over the impact of financial transaction tax are overdone.

Cobham jumped 13 percent to 209.7 pence, the largest increase since at least May 1989, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The world’s largest maker of airborne-refueling equipment raised its dividend by 33 percent and said it has “plenty” of acquisition targets to help it supply parts for the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350.

Admiral Group rallied 10 percent to 1,144 pence, the biggest advance since October 2008. The U.K.’s second-biggest motor insurer said bodily-injury claims declined in the fourth quarter.

Drax Group Plc (DRX) gained 4.3 percent to 516.5 pence after the stock was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at UBS AG.

Thales, Afren

Thales SA (HO) added 2.7 percent to 27.09 euros after reporting full-year net income of 566 million euros, more than analysts’ estimates of 455 million euros.

Afren Plc (AFR) climbed 4.7 percent to 131.5 pence after saying future wells at the Okoro East discovery offshore Nigeria will be able to yield as much as 7,000 barrels a day each.

Inmarsat Plc (ISAT), the biggest provider of satellite services to the maritime industry, gained 6.5 percent to 461.3 pence, the most since Sept. 16, after Bank of America Corp. said the company’s shares are trading at “undemanding” price multiples.

Burberry Group Plc (BRBY) rose 3.2 percent to 1,437 pence as China Daily reported the world’s second-biggest economy will cut import taxes on “a large number” of consumer and luxury goods this year to boost domestic consumption.

Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, the owner of the Cartier brand, advanced 1.9 percent to 55.10 Swiss francs. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC) added 1.1 percent to 125.95 euros.

Adidas, the world’s second-largest sporting-goods maker, declined 3 percent to 56 euros after saying it saw 2012 net income-target between 736 million euros to 770 million euros, missing analysts’ estimates.

Bourbon SA (GBB) fell 4.7 percent to 24.25 euros after the owner of the biggest fleet of supply and crew ships for the oil industry reported an 83 percent drop in 2011 profit.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Stoukas in Athens at astoukas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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