European Stocks Rise for 1st Time in 5 Days; BT, Oil Shares Gain

Brian Belski: Bull Market Is Still Very Much Alive
  • Repsol rallies after earnings; Centrica slumps on share sale
  • Commodity producers have led losses in past days after surge

European equities rebounded from their biggest four-day drop since the height of the February slump amid earnings reports and rising crude prices.

BT Group Plc led telecommunication shares to the largest advance among industry groups after reporting profit that beat estimates. Energy producers climbed, with oil advancing after data showed that U.S. production fell the most in eight months. Repsol SA jumped 4.7 percent after quarterly profit topped analysts’ projections as the performance at the refining and chemicals division compensated for low oil prices.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.3 percent at the close of trading, paring a rise of as much as 0.7 percent. Trading was lower than the 30-day average amid holidays in the region, with markets including Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland closed.

“We’re advising clients these are good opportunities to make money,” said William Hobbs, who oversees about $150 billion as head of investment strategy at the wealth-management unit of Barclays Plc in London, referring to the recent declines because of growth concerns. “The world is growing and is likely to grow a bit quicker as we go through the year. Inflation is returning, and that’s simply not priced in at these levels.”

Investors had grown increasingly skeptical after European shares staged a 16 percent recovery through April 20 despite falling corporate profits, disappointing economic data and concern about the efficacy of central-bank stimulus. Commodity producers, which had led the rebound, were the most hurt in the slump that took the Stoxx 600 down 4.9 percent in the past four days.

Shares in Greece rallied the most among western-European markets on Thursday, with banks climbing for a second day.

Among other companies moving on financial results, Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc increased 2.4 percent after posting its second consecutive quarter of sales growth. RSA Insurance Group Plc advanced 2 percent after reporting an increase in profits thanks to good underwriting results. Mediaset Espana Comunicacion SA climbed 4.6 percent as earnings beat projections. Mediaset SpA, its biggest owner, gained 2.6 percent.

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc declined 2.3 percent after the U.K. aero-engine maker said full-year earnings will be weighted toward the second half, and that any profit in the current six months will be “very, very small.” Inmarsat Plc lost 7.2 percent after lowering its 2016 revenue forecast. Centrica Plc tumbled 9.8 percent after Britain’s biggest supplier of energy said it will sell shares.

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