European Stocks Climb on Monti; Nexans Shares Advance

European Stocks Climb, Heading for First Weekly Advance in May
Traders work on the floor of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Frankfurt. Photographer: Hannelore Foerster/Bloomberg

European stocks climbed, extending the Stoxx Europe 600 Index’s first weekly advance in May, as Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Monti said that most European Union leaders support joint bonds for the euro area.

Nexans SA added 4.6 percent after a brokerage recommended buying the company’s shares. Mining companies dropped, with Lonmin Plc and Fresnillo Plc falling more than 1.5 percent. Mobistar SA led a gauge of telecommunications companies lower, sliding 3.4 percent.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.2 percent to 242.49 at the close, after earlier climbing as much as 0.8 percent and dropping as much as 0.5 percent. The gauge has rallied 1.5 percent this week, its first gain this month, amid speculation that China and the euro area will take steps to bolster economic growth.

“Monti’s comments on euro bonds support the markets as many investors see them as a good solution that would act as a firewall to a Greek exit from the euro zone,” said John Plassard, director at Louis Capital Markets LP in Geneva.

The Stoxx 600 surged 1 percent yesterday as investors speculated that the previous three straight weeks of losses for the benchmark measure were overdone considering the outlook for company earnings.

Spain’s central government will analyze “with all caution” requests from regional governments to help them regain access to capital markets, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said today after a cabinet meeting.

Catalonia will comply with its budget program and will honor its commitments, the regional government said today.

Euro-Area Bonds

Monti told Italian television station La7 yesterday that the majority of EU leaders at a Brussels meeting this week backed joint euro-area bonds. He added that Italy can help persuade Germany to support Europe’s “common good” as well.

“Europe can have euro bonds soon,” Monti said. Germany has an interest in ensuring no country leaves the euro, while Greece will probably remain in the single currency, he said in the interview. Euro-area bonds lower borrowing costs for the currency’s most debt-stricken members by making repayment the responsibility of all 17 countries.

In the U.S., the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment for May rose to 79.3. Economists had projected the gauge would stay at the preliminary reading for the month of 77.8, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.

National benchmark indexes climbed in 13 of the 18 western-European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 added less than 0.1 percent. Germany’s DAX increased 0.4 percent and France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.3 percent. Greece’s ASE sank 3.5 percent.

Chinese Banks’ Lending

China’s biggest banks may miss their loan targets for the first time in at least seven years as an economic slowdown crimps demand for credit, three bank officials with knowledge of the matter said. A decline in lending in April and May means that the banks’ total new loans for 2012 will probably be about 7 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion), less than an estimated government goal of 8 trillion yuan to 8.5 trillion yuan, said one of the officials, declining to be identified because the person isn’t authorized to speak publicly.

Banks have turned to small- and mid-sized companies for loan growth after demand from the biggest state-owned borrowers dropped, the people said.

Nexans, Alcatel-Lucent

Nexans gained 4.6 percent to 30.77 euros after Kepler Capital Markets raised the the world’s second-biggest maker of cables to buy from reduce.

Alcatel-Lucent jumped 4.5 percent to 1.32 euros after Les Echos reported that the company seeks at least $1 billion of core router sales. The newspaper cited an interview with Chief Technology Officer Marcus Weldon. The company aims to take at least a third of the market, which it estimates at $3 billion to $4 billion a year, Weldon said.

The volume of shares changing hands on the Stoxx 600 was 13 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Lonmin and Fresnillo retreated 1.6 percent to 729 pence and

2.2 percent to 1,317 pence, respectively. Vedanta Resources Plc declined 3.3 percent to 966.5 pence. A gauge of mining companies posted the biggest decline on the Stoxx 600.

Mobistar, Belgium’s second-biggest mobile-phone company, slid 3.4 percent to 25.45 euros and Telecom Italia SpA lost 2 percent to 69.5 euro cents.

Banco Popular Espanol SA and Banca Monte dei Paschi SpA decreased 2.2 percent to 1.85 euros and 2 percent to 21 euro cents. Barclays Plc declined 1.9 percent to 181.7 pence.

Accor SA retreated 2.7 percent to 24.68 euros after the company said it plans to appeal a court decision that confirmed BHG SA - Brazil Hospitality Group’s acquisition of Hotel Rio Palace. Accor operates the hotel as Sofitel Rio de Janeiro.

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