European stocks climbed for a fourth day as a measure of U.S. manufacturing beat estimates, while investors awaited the outcome of a two-day summit of the European Union’s leaders.
Wincor Nixdorf AG (WIN), Europe’s biggest maker of automated teller machines, rallied 11 percent. Nestle SA (NESN) retreated 1.7 percent as the world’s biggest food company reported nine-month sales growth that missed analysts’ estimates. Remy Cointreau SA (RCO) sank the most in 3 1/2 years after France’s second-biggest distiller posted an improvement in first-half sales that fell short of forecasts.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2 percent to 276.18 at the close, after earlier retreating as much as 0.3 percent. The equity benchmark has rallied 18 percent from this year’s low on June 4 as European Central Bank policy makers agreed on an unlimited asset-purchase program and the Federal Reserve announced a third round of quantitative easing.
“U.S. figures supported the cause of the bulls who remain in the ascendancy,” said Angus Campbell, head of market analysis at Capital Spreads in London. “With the EU summit underway, investors are content to stick with equities as the situation in Europe is showing a few signs of improvement.”
The Stoxx 600 climbed to its highest level since Sept. 25 yesterday as Moody’s Investors Service left unchanged its investment-grade debt rating on Spain and house building surged to a four-year high in the U.S.
In the U.S., a measure of manufacturing in the Philadelphia region jumped to 5.7 this month, beating the median analyst estimate for a reading of 1.
A separate report from the Labor Department showed that initial jobless claims climbed to 388,000 in the week ended Oct. 13, from a revised 342,000 the previous week. The median estimate of 49 economists had called for an increase to 365,000.
EU leaders gathered in Brussels for a two-day summit. French President Francois Hollande earlier said that efforts to stem the debt crisis may unravel if member states fail to deliver on their promises. He called on the euro area to introduce a banking union, provide economic help to countries that reduce budget deficits, and show investors that Greece can stay in the single currency if it abides by its commitments.
The 27-nation EU has struggled to maintain momentum on its plan to put the ECB in charge of banks across the euro area. Skeptics have questioned the scope of the ECB’s supervisory powers and how losses would be shared.
The yield on Spain’s benchmark 10-year bonds fell to a six-month low after the country sold 4.61 billion euros ($6 billion) of securities due in 2015, 2016 and 2022. The government had planned to auction 4.5 billion euros of debt.
The Bank of Spain said the country’s bad-loans ratio jumped to a record 10.5 percent in August.
China’s industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset investment all accelerated in September. A separate release from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that gross domestic product expanded 7.4 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier. That matched the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey and compared with 7.6 percent growth in the second quarter. GDP rose 2.2 percent from the previous period, a four-quarter high.
National benchmark indexes advanced in 10 of the 18 western-European markets today. France’s CAC 40 gained 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent. Germany’s DAX climbed 0.6 percent.
Wincor Nixdorf surged 11 percent to 34.07 euros on speculation that its new open-source technology platform will lead to more profitable mobile-payment systems.
Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA (WWASA) soared 5.8 percent to 42.20 kroner, its biggest rally in five months. The Norwegian shipper of a third of automobiles transported by sea proposed that it pays a second dividend of 4 kroner per share for 2012.
Nestle slipped 1.7 percent to 61.20 Swiss francs for the biggest drag on the Stoxx 600. The world’s largest food company reported in a statement that revenue excluding acquisitions, divestments and currency swings gained 6.1 percent. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had called for sales to climb 6.3 percent.
Remy Cointreau plunged 8 percent to 80.24 euros, its biggest drop since March 2009. Organic revenue rose 13 percent in the six months through September, the company said. That missed the median estimate of nine analysts for an 18 percent gain. Revenue climbed 5.3 percent in the second quarter. It had surged 24 percent in the first three months of the fiscal year.
Man Group Plc (EMG) slumped 9.9 percent to 83.4 pence. The world’s biggest publicly traded hedge-fund manager said outflows increased 57 percent in the third quarter.
“Investor sentiment and -- consequently -- the outlook for flows continues to be subdued,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Clarke said in a statement.
Swatch Group AG, the world’s biggest watchmaker, lost 2.4 percent to 386 francs and Cie. Financiere Richemont SA, the owner of the Cartier brand, fell 3.5 percent to 60.10 francs. Swiss watch exports declined 2.7 percent in September from a year earlier, according to a report from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.
Akzo Nobel NV (AKZA) slid 4 percent to 42.78 euros after the paintmaker booked a 2.5 billion-euro writedown for its decorative-coatings business.
The company overestimated market growth, Chief Financial Officer Keith Nichols said in a conference call today. Demand for its Dulux paint range has fallen. Akzo will introduce further cost-cutting measures to counter the slowdown, he said.
Modern Times Group AB (MTGA), the Swedish broadcaster with operations in 35 countries, plummeted 22 percent to 218.90 kronor, the biggest decline since its initial public offering in 1997. The company reported third-quarter net income of 310 million kronor ($47 million), missing the 320 million-krona average analyst estimate.
A gauge of European media shares dropped 0.9 percent. British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY), the U.K.’s largest commercial broadcaster, lost 2.1 percent to 733.5 pence.
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