Europe Stocks Widen Gains as Oil Shares Rise on Inventories Drop

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European stocks gained for a second day as oil companies rallied after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell the most this year and investors assessed gains that pushed the region’s equity benchmark to its highest level since August 2015.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2 percent at the close. A rally in the benchmark sparked by global reflation bets after the U.S. election gathered momentum last month after the first round of the French vote, with traders predicting accurately that Emmanuel Macron would be president.

  • Oil companies rose 0.9 percent after the Energy Information Administration said crude inventories fell 5.25 million barrels last week, more than double the 2 million barrel decline forecast by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
  • Some shares were active after reporting results. Barratt Developments Plc rose 2.3 percent after saying its annual profit is likely to be at the upper end of analysts’ forecasts.
  • TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc slumped 7.5 percent after cutting its dividend by 35 percent to tackle debt.
  • Stoxx 600 miners rose for a second day, after a slide of 15 percent from February peak that was sparked by declines in oil and metal prices. Further drops in commodities may threaten Europe’s stock rally.

— With assistance by Elena Popina

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