European Stocks Rise as U.S. Data Offsets Debt-Crisis Concern

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European Stocks Rise as U.S. Data Offsets Debt-Crisis ConcernDec. 23 (Bloomberg) — European stocks rose, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index extending this week’s rally, before reports that may indicate the American economic recovery is gathering strength. U.S. index futures and Asian shares also advanced.

Wavin NV jumped 19 percent after Mexichem SAB increased its bid for the Dutch manufacturer by 11 percent to 10 euros a share. Utilities rallied, led by EDP-Energias de Portugal SA, after China Three Gorges Corp. won the race to acquire a 21 percent stake in the electricity supplier.

The Stoxx 600 advanced 0.6 percent to 241.10 as of 9:30 a.m. in London. The March futures contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 0.3 percent, signaling the U.S. equity benchmark may climb for a fourth day. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index added 0.8 percent.

“The U.S. is beginning to show signs of life,” said John Haynes, the head of research at Investec Wealth & Investments in London. “There’s some positive momentum in the U.S. economy.” He spoke in a Bloomberg Television interview with Mark Barton.

Reports today are forecast to show U.S. personal spending, durable-goods orders and new home sales rose in November, after yesterday’s data showed a drop in jobless claims.

Durable goods orders probably rose 2.2 percent in November, while personal spending increased 0.3 percent, according to the median forecasts of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The reports are due at 8.30 a.m. Washington time.

Home Sales

New home sales climbed to a 315,000 annual rate last month from 307,000, another survey shows. This report will come out at 10 a.m. Washington time.

New unemployment claims unexpectedly fell by 4,000 to 364,000 in the week ended Dec. 17, the lowest level since April 2008, Labor Department figures showed yesterday.

The benchmark Stoxx 600 has gained 12 percent from this year’s low on Sept. 22 amid optimism that U.S. economic growth is holding firm and euro-area leaders are moving to stem the region’s debt crisis. The measure rallied yesterday, bringing this week’s gains to 2.6 percent.

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