European stocks rose for a second day after a report showed Chinese exports climbed more than expected and a gauge of telecommunications operators gained.
Inmarsat Plc rallied 5.8 percent, lifting a gauge of phone companies higher. Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA advanced 4.9 percent after the lender’s largest investor said it would vote against any share sale taking place before May.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2 percent to 317.15 at the close of trading in London after earlier falling as much as 0.2 percent. The equity benchmark has rallied 13 percent in 2013 as central banks around the world pledged to leave interest rates near record lows for a prolonged period of time.
“The debate is starting to move on from where we’ve been in the past few months where tapering has been the dominating headline,” said Henk Potts, who helps oversee about $310 billion as a strategist at Barclays Wealth & Investment Management in London. “The economy isn’t simply being driven by central-bank liquidity; it’s far more fundamental than that.”
National benchmark indexes advanced in every western-European market except Switzerland and Luxembourg. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.1 percent, while Germany’s DAX climbed 0.3 percent. The volume of shares changing hands in Stoxx 600-listed companies was 18 percent lower than the average of the past 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
A report showed China’s imports increased 5.3 percent, falling short of the median economist estimate of 7 percent. The release from the General Administration of Customs yesterday also showed that exports from the world’s second-biggest economy rose 12.7 percent last month from a year earlier, exceeding projections from all but one of 42 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The country’s trade surplus widened to $33.8 billion in November, the biggest gap since January 2009.
Inmarsat jumped 5.8 percent to 730.5 pence after announcing the first successful launch of a Global Xpress satellite. A gauge of telecommunications-related companies gained 0.6 percent as mobile-phone operators from Vodafone Group Plc to Telefonica Deutschland Holding AG added more than 1 percent.
Monte Paschi (BMPS) gained 4.9 percent to 17 euro cents. The foundation that owns almost 38 percent of Italy’s third-largest lender said it would consider a share sale taking place on or after May 12, according to a statement.
Sky Deutschland AG jumped 5.2 percent to 8.12 euros after the German pay-television provider controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. acquired the rights to broadcast Champions League soccer matches in Europe’s largest economy through 2018.
British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc, which is also owned by Murdoch, lost the contest to televise Europe’s most important club soccer competition in the U.K. last month. BSkyB’s shares slumped 11 percent on Nov. 11, the first trading day after BT Group Plc announced it had the exclusive live rights to show all Champions League and Europa League games.
Fresnillo, a producer of gold and silver, declined 2 percent to 742 pence. Vedanta Resources Plc lost 2.7 percent to 821.5 pence. A subsidiary said it halted operations at the Mount Lyell copper mine in Tasmania following an accident that killed two maintenance workers.
Tele2 AB (TEL2B) retreated 2.8 percent to 74.10 kronor. Svenska Handelsbanken AB downgraded the shares to reduce, which is similar to a sell rating, from accumulate.
In the U.S., lawmakers have until Friday to agree on a deal to limit automatic spending cuts to the federal budget. Aides to the chief negotiators -- Paul Ryan for the Republicans and Patty Murray for the Democrats -- said that they will probably find a compromise to reduce the scheduled $100 billion to $200 billion of cuts for one or two years.
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