Stocks edge up as focus turns to jobless claims, new home sales

European shares gain from cash moving off the sidelines, central bank stimulus

Nov 26, 2014 @ 12:01 am

By Bloomberg News

European stocks extended a two-month high, with German equities posting their longest winning streak since 2013, while travel and energy companies fell.

Investors are also watching U.S. data. Reports Wednesday may show jobless claims in the world's biggest economy slipped in the week to Nov. 22, economists forecast. Durable-goods orders probably declined in October, while the pace of new home sales increased, other releases may show. Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures rose 0.1%.

Europe's Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.3% to 347.25 at 10:51 a.m. in London, after earlier climbing as much as 0.4%. Utility companies are leading the gains, with RWE AG and EON SE helping push Germany's DAX Index up 0.7% to its highest level since July. The European gauge has rebounded 12% from this year's low on Oct. 16 amid additional stimulus measures from central banks in China, Japan and Europe.

“There is still a lot of money around which could be invested back into equities,” said Benno Galliker, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank AG in Lucerne, Switzerland. “As long as central banks are pushing stocks, there is really a big support beneath this move.”

German equities have rebounded 16% since their low last month amid optimism that exporters will benefit from a weaker euro as the European Central Bank looks into broadening its asset-buying program.

UTILITIES ADVANCE

Utility stocks climbed the most of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600. RWE, Germany's largest power producer, gained 3.4%, and EON, the country's second-biggest, added 2%.

A measure of commodity producers posted the third-biggest gain on the benchmark index, as gold traded near its highest level in three weeks. Randgold Resources Ltd. rose 1.5%. Antofagasta Plc added 4%.

Oil stocks dropped as Saudi Arabia's oil minister said tumbling crude prices will stabilize and there's no need for producing nations to cut output. Oil ministers from the 12 nations in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meet Thursday in Vienna to discuss production. Seadrill Ltd. (SDRL) slid 12% after the offshore driller suspended dividends as the slump in oil prices hurts demand for rigs.

Thomas Cook Group Plc (TCG) tumbled 20%, the most since March 2012, after reporting profit that missed analyst estimates, and saying its chief executive officer is stepping down.

Amadeus IT Holding SA (AMS) lost 2%. Deutsche Bank said it's selling 6.2 million shares in the Spanish operator of travel booking systems. Air France-KLM Group said in a separate filing it entered into a hedging transaction with the bank for 9.9 million shares of the Madrid-based company.

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