Europe stocks gain for seventh day as China economy grows faster

October 18, 2013 04:32 AM
China steps on gas helping global stocks

European stocks rose for a seventh day, their longest winning streak this year, as China’s economic growth accelerated for the first time in three quarters.

Schindler Holding AG jumped the most in two years after the Swiss elevator maker announced a share buyback. Cap Gemini SA climbed 4.5% after saying it will repurchase convertible bonds to forestall a potential dilution of equity. Grifols SA fell 3% after an investor sold a stake in Europe’s largest blood-plasma products maker.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.6% to 317.85 at 2:09 p.m. in London, the highest level since June 2008. The gauge has rallied 2% this week as U.S. lawmakers agreed to extend the government’s borrowing authority until early 2014 and end a partial government shutdown.

“We’ve seen activity in China picking up over the past few months, and the GDP figure is in line with that,” Richard Scrope, who helps oversee about $160 million as a fund manager at Oriel Asset Management LLP in London, said by phone. “European earnings have been very mixed so far. Earnings expectations need to be supported by actual company results. Otherwise some valuations will start to look extended.”

National benchmark indexes advanced in all of the 18 western European markets, except Portugal. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 rallied 0.5%, while France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.8%. Germany’s DAX added 0.3%.

The volume of shares changing hands in Stoxx 600-listed companies was 25% greater than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

Chinese economy 

In China, gross domestic product increased 7.8% in the third quarter from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That matched the median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey. The world’s second-biggest economy posted GDP growth of 7.7% and 7.5% in the first two quarters, slipping from a 7.9% expansion in the final three months of 2012.

Schindler advanced 4.5% to 127.60 Swiss francs, its biggest gain since September 2011. The elevator maker said it will buy back 4.1 million shares and 4.1 million participation certificates at 129 francs and 129.80 francs each, respectively. The repurchase price for equity marked a 5.7% premium to yesterday’s closing price.

Cap Gemini gained 4.5% to 47.63 euros after saying it plans to buy back convertible bonds due Jan. 1, 2014, through reverse bookbuilding. France’s biggest computer-services company also opened a separate bond issue to raise 350 million euros ($479 million) and pay for the buyback. Cap Gemini had said in July it will allocate 400 million euros to offset the potential share dilution created by the 2014 bonds. 

Euriware talks 

Separately, Cap Gemini said yesterday after European markets closed that it has started exclusive talks to buy Areva SA’s software-services unit Euriware.

Svenska Cellulosa AB jumped 5.2% to 170.80 kronor, its highest price in almost a month. The maker of tissue paper and personal-hygiene products posted third-quarter net income of 1.45 billion kronor ($226 million). That exceeded the 1.36 billion-krona estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Yara International ASA climbed 2.6% to 243.10 kroner. The Oslo-based company said fertilizer deliveries increased 17% in the third quarter from a year earlier because of higher sales in Brazil.

 Ziggo jumps 

Ziggo NV rose 2% to 31 euros after reiterating its full-year forecast for so-called organic-sales growth of about 1%. The Dutch cable-television provider, which this week rejected an offer from Liberty Global Plc, reported third- quarter revenue of 391 million euros, compared with analysts’ estimate of 393 million euros.

Grifols slipped 3% to 29.21 euros after Alken Asset Management LLP sold a 2.7% stake in the company. UBS AG said it placed the shares at 29 euros each.

Anglo American Plc lost 1.4% to 1,532 pence after saying third-quarter production fell 24% to 9.5 million tons at its Kumba iron-ore unit. Kumba, in which Anglo American owns 70%, has said it will need a new permit to access a third of the reserves at its largest mine in South Africa.

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