European Stocks Rise for 7th Day as Banks Lead Gains on Yellen

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The Big Takeaways From Janet Yellen's Testimony

European stocks capped their longest winning streak in almost 19 months, joining a global equity rally fueled by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s stance that more interest-rate increases would be appropriate if the world’s largest economy stays on course.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.3 percent at the close. Lenders led gains, with Credit Agricole SA up the most after reporting higher profit at its LCL consumer-banking division. Yellen’s comment that waiting too long to raise rates “would be unwise” and risk disrupting financial markets has buoyed lenders, which benefit from higher borrowing costs.

  • The Stoxx 600 Banks index rose 1.3 percent to cap its longest streak of gains since January: Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA climbed 3.2 percent after it was raised to overweight at JPMorgan Chase & Co, while ABN Amro Group NV added 2.6 percent after reporting an increase in quarterly profit.
  • Traders are pricing in a 59 percent chance the Fed will raises rates by May and 78 percent by June, according to futures prices.
  • Heineken NV rose the most in almost 16 months after the firm forecast growth in sales and earnings this year.