Prudential added 2.4 percent as insurers led gains in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. WPP Plc climbed 2.1 percent after agreeing to buy a majority stake in ClickMedia, a Vietnam-based social media marketing agency for companies including Unilever NV and Estee Lauder Cos.
The FTSE 100 Index (UKX) climbed 60.9 points, or 0.9 percent, to 6,552.98, at 9:37 a.m. in London. The equities benchmark has gained 11 percent this year as central banks around the world pledged to leave interest rates low for a prolonged period of time. The broader FTSE All-Share Index advanced 1 percent today, and Ireland’s ISEQ Index jumped 1.3 percent.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke cited an improved labor-market outlook for the Fed’s decision to trim bond purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion a month. The purchases will be divided between $40 billion in Treasuries and $35 billion in mortgage bonds starting in January, Bernanke said after concluding a two-day policy meeting.
He also reiterated that the central bank will probably hold its target interest rate near zero “at least as long as” unemployment exceeds 6.5 percent and the outlook for inflation is no higher than 2.5 percent.
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