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European Stocks Rise After U.S. Jobs, Unemployment Report

European stocks rose for a fourth day, extending a six-month high, after a report showed that the U.S. economy added more jobs last month than economists had predicted and the unemployment rate unexpectedly retreated.

Temenos Group AG rallied 16 percent after Misys Plc, the British maker of software for banks, said it has held talks about a merger with the Swiss company. Admiral Group Plc surged 7.9 percent, the shares’ biggest rally in three years.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 1.7 percent to 264.6 at the close, climbing to its highest level since July 29. The benchmark measure advanced 3.6 percent this week, its sixth weekly gain in seven.

“This is good news, with strong job creation,” said Arnaud Scarpaci, a fund manager at Agilis Gestion SA in Paris, which oversees about $84 million. “The market was waiting for this. With employment taking off, investors feel more like buying cyclical shares.”

European stocks extended their advance after a report showed the U.S. economy added 243,000 jobs in January. That beat the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of economists for an increase of 140,000 jobs last month. Employers hired an extra 203,000 people in December. The release also showed that the jobless rate retreated to 8.3 percent, its lowest level since February 2009.

National benchmark indexes climbed in every western-European market today except Greece. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index added 1.8 percent. France’s CAC 40 Index gained 1.5 percent and Germany’s DAX Index advanced 1.7 percent.

Finance Ministers Meet

The finance ministers of the four AAA-rated countries using the euro -- Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Finland -- meet in Berlin today. Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said euro-area finance ministers won’t meet on Feb. 6 to discuss Greece. A meeting may take place later next week, said Juncker who chairs meetings of finance ministers from the euro area’s 17 member states.

A report showed that services industries in the U.K. unexpectedly increased last month. The measure of activity rose to 56 in January from 54 in December, according to a statement from Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. That beat the average economist estimate for a reading of 53.3.

Temenos surged 16 percent to 19.90 Swiss francs, its biggest rally since November 2008, after Misys said it has held talks with the Swiss software maker about an all-share merger. In a separate statement, Temenos said it is “evaluating its strategic options.” Misys gained 1.2 percent to 329.5 pence in London trading.

Admiral, Daimler, Bayer

Admiral jumped 7.9 percent to 1,038 pence, its biggest jump since January 2009. The U.K. car insurer that owns the website rose the most since January 2009 after saying it has extended its reinsurance partnerships, without increasing its costs.

Daimler AG, the carmaker that makes 24 percent of its sales in the U.S., climbed 3.1 percent to 45.46 euros following the U.S. jobs report.

Volvo AB rose 4.4 percent to 94.70 kronor after the world’s second-largest truckmaker reported fourth-quarter earnings before interest and taxes that increased 26 percent to 6.96 billion kronor ($1.04 billion) from 5.52 billion kronor a year earlier. The Gothenburg, Sweden-based manufacturer posted sales that jumped 18 percent.

NKT Holding A/S surged 9.3 percent to 242.50 kroner and Subsea 7 SA added 2.7 percent to 126.50 kroner after the two companies agreed to sell their pipeline unit to National Oilwell Varco Inc. for 3.8 billion kroner ($673 million) in the second-largest Nordic asset sale this year.

National Oilwell agreed to buy NKT’s 51 percent stake and Subsea’s 49 percent share of NKT Flexibles in a transaction that will close in the first half of the year, pending competition authority approval, Broendby, Denmark-based NKT said today.

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