European stocks climbed for a seventh straight week, the longest winning streak in more than six years, as better-than-expected earnings offset concern that the euro area crisis is deepening.
ASML Holding NV (ASML), Europe’s biggest semiconductor equipment maker, Akzo Nobel NV, the world’s largest paintmaker, and SEB AB (SEBA) all advanced this week after posting results that beat analyst estimates.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.8 per cent to 258.17 this week, for the longest stretch of gains since January 2006 even after falling 1.4 per cent today. The gauge has rebounded 10 per cent from this year’s low on June 4 as central banks from Europe to China eased monetary policy to help spur economic growth.
“Investors have been given the rare opportunity to focus on companies as the earnings reporting season continued to filter through,” said Simon Reynolds, a fund manager at Octopus Investments in London. “Upbeat US earnings have helped lift equity markets.”
Of the 46 companies on the Stoxx 600 that have reported earnings this quarter, 48 per cent beat forecasts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. On the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, 73 per cent of the 118 companies that have reported quarterly earnings have topped analyst estimates, the data show.
National benchmark indexes rose in 11 of the 18 western European (SXXP) markets this week. Germany’s DAX rallied 1.1 per cent, France’s CAC 40 advanced 0.4 per cent and Switzerland’s SMI gained 1.7 per cent. The UK’s FTSE 100 lost 0.3 per cent, while Spain’s IBEX 35 fell 6.3 per cent and Italy’s FTSE MIB retreated 4.7 per cent.
European stocks dropped on Friday, paring their weekly advance, as the yield premium for Spanish benchmark bonds over German bunds surged to a record. Spanish bonds declined, pushing the extra yield investors demand to hold the nation’s 10-year securities instead of similar-maturity German bunds to the most on record.
Spain’s recession will extend into next year as the region of Valencia prepared to seek a rescue from the central government and European finance ministers approved the bailout of Spanish banks, Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro said after the Cabinet met today in Madrid. Gross domestic product will fall 0.5 per cent in 2013 instead of rising 0.2 per cent as the government predicted April 27, Montoro said.