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Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- European stocks advanced, with the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index rebounding from a two-week low, amid speculation that this year’s slump in equities isn’t commensurate with the outlook for corporate earnings. Asian shares fell and U.S. index futures were little changed.
The Stoxx 600 gained 0.2 percent to 232.94 at 8:10 a.m. in London. The decline in 2011 has left the Stoxx 600 trading at 10.1 times estimated profits, a discount of 16 percent to its average price-earnings ratio of 12 over the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The March futures contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 0.1 percent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index retreated 1.7 percent.
“The main risks to our outlook stem from Europe and potential secondary consequences for global growth,” Robert Buckland, the chief global strategist at Citigroup Inc. in London, wrote in a report today. “Cheap valuations should provide a buffer against further bad macro news.”
The Stoxx 600 fell to its lowest level since Nov. 29 yesterday as the U.S. Federal Reserve refrained from taking new action to bolster the world’s largest economy. The gauge has retreated 16 percent this year as the debt crisis spread to the region’s larger economies.
Spain aims to sell as much as 3.5 billion euros ($4.5 billion) of bonds maturing in 2016, 2020, and 2021 today. Economic data may show Germany’s manufacturing industry contracted for a third straight month.
Concern grew that economic growth from China to Japan and South Korea is slowing. Japan’s Tankan index of sentiment among large manufacturers fell more than economists projected. South Korean department store sales dropped for the first time in almost three years and a preliminary purchasing managers’ index showed China’s manufacturing may contract for a second month.
--Editors: Srinivasan Sivabalan, Andrew Rummer
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