European Stocks Climb for Sixth Day; U.S. Index Futures Rise
European stocks advanced for a sixth day, the longest winning streak since December, amid speculation the economy is strong enough to overcome Japan’s nuclear crisis. Asian shares and U.S. index futures climbed.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) led mining companies higher as all 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained. Sonova Holding AG (SOON) tumbled 5.4 percent as the chief executive officer and chief financial officer resigned after an investigation into possible insider trading at the Swiss hearing-aid maker. Dixons Retail Plc (DXNS) sank 11 percent after the U.K.’s largest consumer- electronics retailer said earnings will miss most estimates.
The Stoxx 600 rose 0.7 percent to 278.43 at 8:20 a.m. in London, recouping the losses that followed Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The benchmark has gained 6.2 percent since this year’s low on March 16 as investors speculated that Japan will prevent a meltdown at its damaged nuclear power plant and the U.S., U.K. and France began military action in Libya.
“The situations in Japan and the Middle East aren’t going to derail the global recovery or markets,” Larry Kantor, head of research at Barclays Capital, said on Bloomberg Television’s “On the Move” with Francine Lacqua. “Valuations are attractive, and growth, at least in the northern countries, is solid. There’s still some upside.”
Asian, U.S. Equities
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 1.4 percent today as Hitachi Ltd. jumped 8.7 percent after the Nikkei newspaper said the company’s main plant will resume full operation next month after the Japanese temblor. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 0.4 percent before a monthly jobs report from ADP Employer Services.
In Libya, rebels were forced to retreat in the face of artillery and rocket fire from government troops defending Sirte, cutting short their advance as foreign ministers from alliance nations met in London to coordinate strategy for driving Muammar Qaddafi from power.
BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, advanced 1.8 percent to 2,457 pence. Vedanta Resources Plc (VED), the largest copper producer in India, rose 1.8 percent to 2,278 pence as Morgan Stanley said the shares have the potential to gain as much as 64 percent.
Stora Enso Oyj (STEAV), Europe’s largest paper maker, gained 1.7 percent to 8.24 euros after Morgan Stanley raised its recommendation on the stock to “overweight” from “equal weight.”
Bellway Plc (BWY) climbed 1.5 percent to 692.5 pence. The second- worst performing U.K. homebuilder in the past 12 months said first-half profit rose to 18.5 million pounds after the company sold more homes at higher prices.
Sonova plunged 5.4 percent 88.25 Swiss francs after CEO Valentin Chapero and CFO Oliver Walker tendered their resignations. An external investigation into share sales by directors and executives before Sonova reduced its profit forecast on March 16 “showed weaknesses in internal processes,” Sonova said in a statement.
Dixons retreated 11 percent to 14.92 pence, the biggest drop in two months. The retailer said full-year earnings will miss most analysts’ estimates as sales decline because of weakening consumer confidence.
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) slipped 1.6 percent to 4,581 pence. The producer of the metal in West Africa was initiated with a “sell” rating at Societe Generale SA. The analysts said Randgold is their least preferred metals and mining stock.
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