July 24 (Bloomberg) -- European stocks rose to an almost eight-week high as data signaled Germany is leading a revival in euro-area manufacturing and companies posted results that exceeded estimates.
Volvo AB advanced the most in 10 months after the world’s second-largest truckmaker reported second-quarter earnings that beat forecasts. EasyJet climbed 3.7 percent after saying quarterly sales rose 11 percent on higher capacity utilization and revenue per seat. Syngenta AG fell 4 percent after posting first-half profit and revenue that trailed forecasts.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.6 percent to 301.1 in London, the highest close since May 30. The benchmark pared earlier gains of as much as 1 percent. The index has rebounded 9.2 percent from this year’s low on June 24 as central banks around the world pledged to continue stimulus measures.
“I’ve been positively surprised by the earnings season so far,” said Michael Woischneck, who helps oversee about $9.3 billion at Lampe Asset Management in Dusseldorf, Germany. “Companies are holding up quite well and guidance from CEOs seem to show they are confident with their road maps ahead. I’m not saying I expect the next big boom in Europe, but there are signs that the economy is not getting worse.”
National benchmark indexes climbed in all 18 western European markets today, except Greece. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 added 0.4 percent, while Germany’s DAX gained 0.8 percent and France’s CAC 40 rose 1 percent.
Preliminary data today showed euro-area manufacturing is expanding this month for the first time since July 2011. A manufacturing index based on a survey of purchasing managers increased to 50.1 from 48.8 in June, Markit Economics said. Economists in a Bloomberg survey had predicted 49.1. A reading of 50 is the dividing line between expansion and contraction.
In Germany, manufacturing unexpectedly expanded in July and services growth accelerated.
A U.S. report showed sales of new houses in the world’s largest economy rose more than forecast in June to the highest level in five years. Purchases climbed 8.3 percent to an annualized pace of 497,000 homes, the Commerce Department said in Washington. The median estimate of 77 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a gain to 484,000.
Volvo gained 5 percent to 97.90 kronor. Second-quarter earnings before interest and taxes of 3.26 billion kronor ($505 million) exceeded the 3.22 billion-kronor average analyst estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Revenue increased to 72.8 billion kronor, compared with the 71.6 billion kronor average estimate.
EasyJet advanced 3.7 percent to 1,385 pence. Europe’s second-largest discount airline said third-quarter sales rose 11 percent and that full-year earnings should beat analyst estimates as it adds customers on routes where network carriers are withdrawing.
Ryanair Holdings Plc, which posts quarterly results next week, rose 4.8 percent to 7.37 euros in Dublin. A gauge of travel and leisure companies posted the best performance on the Stoxx 600.
Edenred rallied 7.1 percent to 24.34 euros, its biggest advance since August 2011. The provider of employee-benefit vouchers set a target of 370 million euros ($490 million) to 390 million euros for current operating profit in 2013.
Syngenta, the biggest maker of crop chemicals, fell 4 percent to 371 Swiss francs, its largest decline since September 2011. Adjusted earnings of $15.92 a share in the first half missed the average analyst projection for $17.15, as cold weather across Germany and the U.S. hurt demand for its fungicides.
Tod’s SpA, an Italian maker of luxury shoes and handbags, dropped 3.9 percent to 119.50 euros, its biggest retreat in eight months. UBS AG cut its rating on the stock to sell from neutral, saying it expects weak sales growth in the first half of 2013 to pull down profit margins. UBS also said it doesn’t expect a takeover bid for Tod’s as some investors have argued. The company releases results on Aug. 7.
The number of shares changing hands in companies listed on the Stoxx 600 companies was 14 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, data compiled by Bloomberg shows.
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