European Stocks Advance as Energy Rally Outweighs Fed Concern

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European Stocks Rebound Despite Fed Concerns

European stocks rose as a rally in oil companies offset concern over minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting that showed policy makers may shrink the U.S. central bank’s balance sheet this year.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.2 percent at the close, after losing as much as 0.8 percent earlier in the day. Real estate companies closed at the highest level since October, while energy shares tracked an advance in oil. Lenders gained 0.3 percent, after reversing a drop of as much as 1.3 percent, as concern eased that a balance-sheet reduction could damp the need for the Fed to raise interest rates.

  • Europe’s equity benchmark index advanced for a third day, after completing a third quarterly advance on Friday.
  • A gauge of real estate stocks rose 1.2 percent in the biggest advance in the broader index.
  • European financial stocks have more gains in store, according to JPMorgan Asset Management European. Prices do not yet reflect improving returns, a recovery in loan demand and the likelihood of substantial return of capital to shareholders, Paul Quinsee, global head of equities at JPMorgan Asset Management, wrote in a note.
  • With French elections coming up, options bets on the country’s stocks have jumped to the highest level since 2011. A new poll carried out by Harris Interactive shows presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron ahead of Marine Le Pen by 1 percent in the first round of voting, according to franceinfo. The poll also shows Macron would defeat Le Pen 62 percent to 38 percent in the second round.
  • Unilever rose 1 percent after saying it will buy back shares, increase dividend and divest its spreads business in an effort to boost the its stock price after fending off a takeover bid by Kraft Heinz Co.
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