European Stocks Advance on U.S. Debt-Limit Deal OptimismInyoung Hwang
European stocks rose, erasing their decline in the final two hours of trading, as the Republican leader of the U.S. House of Representatives was said to agree to a Senate proposal to increase the government’s debt limit.
Ziggo NV surged the most in six months after rejecting a preliminary takeover offer from Liberty Global Plc. Danone slid 2.3 percent after the yogurt maker also lowered its full-year forecast following a product-safety scare that hurt cashflow in China. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA dropped the most in 16 months as the luxury-goods company said sales at its fashion and leather-accessories business slowed in the third quarter.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.2 percent to 315.55 at the close, rebounding from a decline of as much as 0.6 percent. The equity benchmark climbed to its highest level since Sept. 19 yesterday even as the U.S. Treasury said it will exhaust extraordinary measures to keep the country’s borrowing within a debt limit by tomorrow.
“Hopes for a deal are pushing risk assets higher,” Nick Xanders, an equity strategist at BTIG Ltd. in London, said. “Short-term Treasury bills have fallen -- that is the main indicator. We are hostage to headlines, which makes it more volatile than it should be.”
The rate on a Treasury bill maturing on Oct. 31 dropped 21 basis points as a senior Republican said that House Speaker John Boehner will allow the chamber to vote on a Senate proposal to extend the government’s borrowing authority. Kevin Brady of Texas predicted that the measure would pass.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, restarted talks late yesterday on a deal to prevent a default. The proposed agreement would also reopen the federal government, which has been closed since Oct. 1.
“Senator Reid and Senator McConnell have re-engaged in negotiations and are optimistic that an agreement is within reach,” a spokesman for Reid said in a statement.
National benchmark indexes climbed in 14 of the 18 western-European markets. The U.K’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.3 percent and Germany’s DAX added 0.5 percent. France’s CAC 40 Index decreased 0.3 percent.
Ziggo rallied 6.7 percent to 31.20 euros. The Dutch cable-television operator said it rejected a preliminary takeover offer from Liberty Global Plc. The U.S. media company may not make a further bid, Ziggo said in a statement.
IMI Plc advanced 1.9 percent to 1,528 pence. The British manufacturing company agreed to sell its drink-dispenser and merchandising businesses to Marmon Group, a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. company, for $1.1 billion in cash. IMI will return 620 million pounds ($987 million) to shareholders and contribute 70 million pounds to its pension fund, according to a statement.
Danone slid 2.3 percent to 51.83 euros. Comparable revenue in the three months through September gained 4.2 percent from a year earlier, the Paris-based company said in a statement. That missed the median of 15 analysts’ estimates of 4.8 percent. Danone also said that its revenue from baby-nutrition products in Asia has declined following the product scare.
“Our plans to restart sales are in progress in the countries concerned and are producing effects, effectively but very gradually,” the food producer said.
LVMH dropped 4.3 percent to 138.70 euros. The Paris-based company said late yesterday that third-quarter revenue advanced to 7.02 billion euros ($9.5 billion) from 6.9 billion euros. Analysts had predicted 7.24 billion euros, according to the median of 15 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Christian Dior SA slid 4.2 percent to 139.90 euros.
Publicis Groupe SA slipped 2 percent to 58.44 euros. The company, which plans to merge with Omnicom Group Inc. to form the world’s biggest advertising firm, reported slower third-quarter sales growth. Revenue rose 3 percent to 1.68 billion euros from a year earlier, according to a statement. Excluding currency fluctuations and acquisitions, sales climbed 3.5 percent. They increased 5 percent in the previous quarter.
PSA Peugeot Citroen lost 4.4 percent to 10.25 euros and Fiat SpA fell 4 percent to 6.14 euros. European sales at the largest carmakers in France and Italy declined 3 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively, in September, according to a report from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, or ACEA.
ASML Holding NV retreated 3 percent to 69.93 euros. Europe’s largest semiconductor-equipment supplier reported that third-quarter profit declined 30 percent because costs climbed as it expanded into more advanced technologies.
Ubisoft Entertainment SA sank 26 percent to 8.19 euros, the biggest tumble since its initial public offering in 1996. Electronic Arts Inc.’s smaller French rival cut its full-year sales forecast by as much as a third and predicted an operating loss after delaying the release of two major games.