Global indexes rise

February 13, 2015 09:14 AM

European stocks rose, with Germany’s DAX Index extending a record, as the region’s economy picked up momentum at the end of last year. Treasuries fell while bonds in Italy and Greece rallied on optimism over Greek debt negotiations. Oil headed for a third week of gains.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index and the DAX added 0.7% at 8:52 a.m. in New York. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures climbed 0.2% after the gauge closed 3 points away from an all-time high. Greek 10-year securities rose for a second day, boosting Italian, Portuguese and Spanish debt. The yield on 10- year Treasury notes advanced three basis points to 2.02%. Gold gained for a second day, and oil erased a weekly decline. The ruble headed for its biggest weekly gain this year.

European shares headed for their highest level since November 2007 after a report showed the economy in the euro area expanded more than forecast. The value of global equities climbed to more than $66 trillion this week, near a record, as concern eased over the Greek and Ukrainian crises and corporate profits at companies from Cisco Systems Inc. to PepsiCo Inc. topped estimates. U.S. consumer confidence remained at an 11-year high in February, economists projected a report will show.

“Markets are being driven by evidence that the European economy is recovering,” said Dirk Thiels, head of investment management at KBC Asset Management NV in Brussels. “The market is back to an optimistic view on Greece. Something has to happen before the end of the month, and markets seem to think that it will probably be a pretty smooth transition for Greece.”

Bull Market

U.S. equities are approaching record levels, bolstered by the biggest three-month rise in hiring in 17 years and signs of easing tension between Greece and its euro-area creditors. The S&P 500 has more than tripled during the bull market that is approaching the end of its sixth year.

The S&P 500 has rallied 4.7% in February after sinking 3.1% in January for its worst month in a year. Since the start of 2015, the index has experienced three declines of more than 2.7%, only to recover within a week each time, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The Nasdaq Composite closed below 4,000 twice last year, on Feb. 3 and April 11, but has rallied nearly 22% since then. The gauge is now 3.8% below its all-time closing high of 5,048.62, set on March 10, 2000.

European Growth

The economy in the euro area expanded 0.3% in the fourth quarter, according to the European Union’s statistics office. German gross domestic product grew 0.7% in the final three months of 2014, more than twice as much as estimated, after expanding 0.1% in the previous three months, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said.

The Stoxx 600 advanced for a second day, heading for a 0.8% weekly gain. The DAX, the second-best stock index among developed markets this year, rose as much as 0.9%.

Greece’s ASE Index climbed 4.1%, heading for its highest close since Dec. 10, and the nation’s 10-year yield fell 88 basis points, or 0.88%age point, to 9.14%, leaving it lower for a second week.

Greece is seeking a “new contract” with the euro area on how to continue its bailout, as talks resume and both sides signal willingness to compromise, according to government officials taking part in the talks.

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