European Stocks Rise First Time in Five Days on Policy Optimism

  • Almost all western-Europe markets rise; all industries gain
  • Dutch insurer NN Group surges after financial update

Stoxx 600 Rebounds From Four Day Losing Streak

European stocks climbed for the first time in five days, rebounding from a two-week low, on confidence that accommodative central-bank policies will help support the economy.

Miners led the increase in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index as commodities advanced amid a weaker dollar. Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting showed on Wednesday policy makers were divided over the timing of rate increases, but they agreed to wait for more economic data before a move. In the European Central Bank’s account of its last policy gathering, released on Thursday, officials acknowledged risks related to the U.K.’s secession from the European Union, while they remained reasonably positive about the economic outlook.

Sentiment is improving after Europe’s equities had their longest streak with no gains since June on concern over Fed rate increases and a strengthening of the euro. The Stoxx 600, up 0.3 percent this month amid thin trading, has been hovering around its 200-day moving average in recent days, a level that has proved difficult to hold in the past. It extended gains on Thursday, after a U.S. index of leading economic indicators climbed more than projected, while separate data indicated the nation’s jobs market remains healthy.

“Today is a breather after yesterday’s declines,” said Benno Galliker, a trader at Switzerland’s Luzerner Kantonalbank AG. “I am optimistic about the market overall -- there is no other option but equities at the moment, as rates are going down and down and down. Central banks are going to remain quite accommodating, now politics have to come in to improve the mood.”

The Stoxx 600 added 0.7 percent, the most in a week, as all of its industry groups advanced. Almost every western-European market rose, while the yield on 10-year German bonds, already negative, slipped for a second day.

Germany’s DAX Index, which came close to erasing its annual drop on Monday, rose 0.6 percent, with steelmaker Thyssenkrupp AG helping lead the gains. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index added 0.1 percent, paring an advance of as much as 0.5 percent, as the pound strengthened after a report showed that retail sales unexpectedly surged in July.

Among stocks moving on corporate news, Vestas Wind Systems A/S jumped 9.9 percent after raising its annual guidance. Dutch insurer NN Group NV, spun off by ING Groep NV through an initial public offering two years ago, rallied 8.8 percent after reporting an improved capital position. Denmark’s Jyske Bank A/S advanced 2.4 percent as it raised its share buyback program, while DFDS A/S surged 6 percent after the shipping company posted earnings that beat projections.

William Hill Plc fell 1.5 percent as 888 Holdings Plc and Rank Group Plc abandoned plans to bid for the U.K.’s biggest bookmaker after it rejected an increased offer from them. Dutch shipping firm Royal Boskalis Westminster NV fell 4.5 percent as its revenue slipped. Norwegian salmon producer Marine Harvest ASA slid 3 percent as its earnings missed estimates. Swisscom AG lost 1.6 percent as it said it see a decline in revenue excluding its Fastweb unit. Airbus Group SE dropped 1.4 percent after Bank of America Corp. lowered its rating on the shares to the equivalent of a sell.

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