European Stocks Climb for Fifth Day, Extending 2008 High

European stocks rose for a fifth day, extending their highest level since January 2008, as data in the U.S. showed durable-goods orders unexpectedly increased.

Aveva Group Plc jumped the most in 10 months after posting profit that beat analysts’ estimates. InterContinental Hotels Group Plc added 3.4 percent after a report that it rejected a takeover bid. Accor SA climbed after agreeing to buy hotels in Europe. AstraZeneca Plc slipped 1.8 percent after Pfizer Inc. abandoned its effort to buy the drugmaker.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2 percent to 344.47 at the close of trading for its longest winning streak since April. The gauge has risen 8.5 percent from this year’s low on Feb. 4 as mergers-and-acquisitions activity increased and as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said policy makers are ready to ease monetary policy.

“We had some weak U.S. data due to the harsh winter and now everyone is expecting a recovery in spring and summer and a bounce back,” said Raimund Saxinger, a fund manager at Frankfurt-Trust Investment GmbH, which oversees about $22 billion. “People want to see confirmation of that.”

Durable-goods orders in the U.S. rose 0.8 percent in April after a revised 3.6 percent increase in March. Economists had estimated a 0.7 percent drop for April. A preliminary reading of the Markit Economics index of service industries rose to 58.4 this month from 55, beating forecasts. Another release showed that consumer confidence climbed in May.

European Elections

The Stoxx 600 climbed 0.6 percent yesterday as Italian banks surged after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s party beat a populist challenger in European Parliament elections. European Union leaders meet today to discuss the way forward after elections showed a surge of support across the 28-nation bloc for protest parties, pushing the case for an easing of fiscal policy in the region.

National benchmark indexes advanced in 13 of the 18 western-European markets today. France’s CAC 40 gained 0.1 percent. Germany’s DAX added 0.5 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 increased 0.4 percent.

Aveva climbed 8.8 percent to 2,350 pence. The U.K. maker of computer software posted annual adjusted pretax profit of 78.3 million pounds ($132 million), beating the average analyst estimate of 75.9 million pounds.

Travel, Leisure

A gauge of travel and leisure shares in the Stoxx 600 was among the biggest gainers out of 19 industry groups. InterContinental rose 3.4 percent to 2,302 pence. Sky News reported that the world’s largest provider of hotel accommodation spurned an offer that valued it at about 6 billion pounds. The industry may see a revival of M&A activity, Exane BNP Paribas said in a note.

Accor gained 1.3 percent to 38 euros after saying it will buy hotels in Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland for about 900 million euros ($1.23 billion). Europe’s largest hotel operator said the purchase will contribute to earnings before interest and taxes this year.

Lloyds Banking Group Plc rose 1.6 percent to 77.2 pence after saying it will sell a 25 percent stake in its TSB consumer bank in an initial public offering next month. Britain’s biggest mortgage lender said the prospectus for the IPO will be published in the middle of June. The European Commission ruled in 2009 that Lloyds should have to sell part of its business in response to its U.K. government bailout.

AstraZeneca fell 1.8 percent to 4,252 pence. Pfizer, the largest U.S. drugmaker, ended its six-month effort to buy the U.K. company after offering 69.4 billion pounds, saying the rejected public bid represented “full value.”

Ophir Energy Plc lost 3.9 percent to 250 pence. The London-based oil and gas explorer said it found poor characteristics at one of its wells offshore of Gabon.

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