European stocks advanced, posting the biggest four-day rally since April, after the International Monetary Fund said it will raise its U.S. growth outlook.
ARM Holdings Plc, which designs chips for Apple Inc.’s iPhones, increased 3.9 percent as the U.S. company struck a deal to sell the smartphone through China Mobile Ltd. Lanxess AG rose 4.4 percent after its chief executive officer said the chemical maker will reach its full-year earnings forecast. Orell Fuessli Holding AG declined 2.2 percent after predicting “clearly negative” earnings for 2013.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.7 percent to 323.40 at the close of trading in London. The gauge has rallied 16 percent this year, including the 3.9 percent gain in the past four days. The Stoxx 600 is heading for its biggest annual jump since 2009.
“The positive assessment the IMF gave with regard to U.S. growth corroborates the improving economic indicators we have been witnessing,” said Konstantin Giantiroglou, head of investment advisory at Neue Aargauer Bank in Brugg, Switzerland. “The sentiment going into Christmas and the New Year is good. We have an improving global economy and for the first time since the financial crisis we should see a synchronous recovery. We should see a continuation of the bull market in 2014.”
European stocks rose 3.7 percent last week, the biggest rally since April, after the Federal Reserve’s decision to reduce its monthly bond purchases increased investors’ confidence in the strength of the U.S. economic recovery.
The IMF will increase its outlook for the U.S. economy as a budget deal and falling unemployment ease doubts about the future, Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in an interview yesterday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” The IMF said in October the world’s largest economy would expand 2.6 percent next year. Lagarde didn’t specify new figures. The Washington-based fund usually issues projections in January.
A U.S. report showed the the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment climbed to 82.5 in December from 75.1 a month earlier. The median forecast of 61 economists in a Bloomberg survey called for 83 after a preliminary reading of 82.5. Consumer spending rose in November by the most in five months, according to a separate report.
The volume of shares changing hands in Stoxx 600 companies was 27 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
National benchmark indexes advanced in 14 of the 18 western-European markets today. France’s CAC 40 added 0.5 percent and Germany’s DAX rose 0.9 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed 1.1 percent.
ARM Holdings increased 3.9 percent to 1,110 pence after Apple’s agreement with China Mobile. Dialog Semiconductor Plc, which got 77 percent of its revenue from the iPhone maker, rose 3.4 percent to 15.68 euros.
Lanxess advanced 4.4 percent to 47.74 euros. CEO Axel Heitmann told Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that the company will reach its goal of 710 million euro ($972 million) to 760 million euro in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization before special items, adding he is confident about improving results in 2014.
Carmat SAS jumped 9.7 percent to 112.82 euros. The company’s artificial heart was implanted in a patient for the first time last week. The surgery took place at Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris on Wednesday and two days later the patient was speaking with his family, the company said late Friday. Carmat designed the prosthetic organ for patients with terminal heart failure who can’t get a human heart for a transplant.
Banco Comercial Portugues SA advanced 5.5 percent to 17.1 euro cents and Banco Espirito Santo SA climbed 5.4 percent to 1.07 euros for the biggest gains in the Stoxx 600. Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA rose 4.3 percent to 17.7 euro cents.
Orell Fuessli declined 2.2 percent to 88 Swiss francs after saying it will report an operating loss of 20 million francs ($22.3 million) for 2013. It cited special charges at its security-printing unit, which produces Switzerland’s banknotes. On Oct. 1, the company said it was liable for losses incurred by customers in relation to banknotes stolen during production.
Premier Foods Plc lost 3.8 percent to 125.5 pence. The U.K.’s biggest food manufacturer is reviewing its capital structure and will consider a rights issue, according to a statement today.
Merlin Entertainments Plc retreated 1.2 percent to 361.7 pence. The company closed its Chessington World of Adventures Resort, a zoo and theme park southwest of London, after a fire at an on-site restaurant.