European stocks advanced for a seventh day before Federal Reserve policy makers meet and as investors await progress on U.S. budget talks to avoid the fiscal cliff. U.S. futures and Asian stocks were little changed.
ThyssenKrupp AG (TKA), Germany’s biggest steelmaker, rose 3.1 percent even after saying it won’t pay an annual dividend following a second straight yearly loss. Imagination Technologies Group Plc (IMG), the U.K. chip designer in which Apple Inc. holds a minority stake, gained 2.8 percent after Deutsche Bank AG upgraded the shares. Diageo Plc. (DGE), the world’s biggest distiller, slid 1.2 percent after it ended talks to acquire the Cuervo brand.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) climbed 0.2 percent to 280.20 at 9:58 a.m. in London. The gauge has increased 15 percent this year as the European Central Bank pledged to buy the bonds of nations who seek aid and confidence grows that U.S. lawmakers will avoid a looming fiscal deadlock. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures rose 0.1 percent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added less than 0.1 percent.
Federal Reserve policy makers begin a two-day meeting today that will be followed by updated projections on economic growth, unemployment, inflation and interest rates on Dec. 12. Fed officials are considering whether to supplement $40 billion a month of mortgage-bond purchases with Treasury purchases when their Operation Twist program expires at the end of the month.
U.S. lawmakers need to agree on a budget to prevent more than $600 billion of automatic tax increases and spending cuts from coming into effect next year.
In Italy, Prime Minister Mario Monti said that investors shouldn’t expect the imminent demise of his government to lead to a political vacuum that will fuel market turmoil.
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