European Stocks Gain for Seventh Day After U.S. Payrolls

European stocks climbed for a seventh day after a U.S. private-payrolls report showed companies in the world’s largest economy added more workers last month and factory orders increased in February.

Deutsche Post AG gained 4.6 percent after Europe’s largest mail service predicted operating profit will rise through 2020. Neste Oil Oyj rallied 5.6 percent after a U.S. Senate committee proposed extending a tax credit for biodiesel. Deutsche Boerse AG dropped 2.2 percent after confirming that one of its businesses has become the subject of a criminal investigation.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.2 percent to 336.93 at the close of trading. The equity benchmark has climbed 3.9 percent since March 24 as better-than-forecast U.S. consumer-confidence data signaled the world’s largest economy is recovering from weakness due to the bad winter.

“Stabilizing growth and disinflationary pressures in recent data globally have been the signal to buy stocks,” said Daniel Weston, a portfolio manager at Aimed Capital GmbH in Munich. “The room for continued accommodative policy remains while the inflation genie is kept in the bottle, leading investors to continue being bullish stocks.”

A report from ADP Research Institute showed that U.S. companies hired a net 191,000 workers last month, up from a revised 178,000 in February. That narrowly missed the median estimate for March of 195,000 in a Bloomberg survey of economists. A separate release from the Commerce Department showed factory orders climbed 1.6 percent in February. They dropped in January. Both reports had shown weakness at the beginning of the year as unusually harsh winter temperatures suppressed economic activity.

European Equities

National benchmark indexes climbed in 13 of 18 western-European markets. France’s CAC 40 added 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 0.1 percent, and Germany’s DAX rose 0.2 percent.

Deutsche Post advanced 4.6 percent to a record 28.43 euros after saying earnings before interest and taxes will rise to as much as 5.22 billion euros ($7.2 billion) by 2020 under a new strategy. Ebit will grow more than 8 percent a year, the company said in a presentation.

The new strategy will focus on expanding into emerging economies through organic growth, rather than buying businesses to move into new markets.

Neste Oil, a Finnish maker of renewable diesel, rallied 5.6 percent to 15.86 euros, its highest price since October. The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Ron Wyden, proposed retroactively extending expired tax credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel -- or refined vegetable oil -- until the end of next year, Bloomberg Industries wrote after the close of European trading yesterday.

SBM Offshore

SBM Offshore NV climbed 4.3 percent to 13.76 euros. The Dutch supplier of floating oil-production platforms said an internal investigation found no credible evidence of improper payments made to Brazilian government employees from 2007 through 2011. Brazil accounts for almost half of SBM’s sales.

Alcatel-Lucent SA rose 3.2 percent to 3.03 euros. Natixis SA raised the network-equipment maker to buy from neutral, saying that telecommunications companies will increase their capital expenditure. Alcatel-Lucent has deals with China Mobile Ltd. and Bouygues SA.

Deutsche Boerse fell 2.2 percent to 56.59 euros. The operator of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange said the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York has made Clearstream Banking SA the subject of a criminal investigation in connection with alleged violations of U.S. money-laundering and Iran-sanction laws. Deutsche Boerse said Clearstream will co-operate with the probe, which is at a very early stage.

Court papers filed in a New York suit yesterday showed a U.S. grand jury is investigating possible money laundering and other violations by Clearstream and Iran’s central bank.

The volume of shares changing hands in Stoxx 600-listed companies was 15 percent greater than the average of the past 30 days, data compiled by Bloomberg show.