Europe Stocks Rise, Head for Biggest 4-Day Jump in Three Years

European stocks advanced, after fluctuating between gains and losses, heading for their biggest four-day rally in three years.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.6 percent to 341.07 at 4:02 p.m. in London, after earlier rising as much as 0.8 percent and falling 0.6 percent. The measure is heading for its fifth weekly advance in six. Energy stocks contributed the most to gains, while a drop in health-care companies was the biggest drag as Roche Holding AG slid.

European shares jumped the most since November 2011 yesterday, rebounding for a third day, after the Federal Reserve pledged to be patient in increasing interest rates and the Swiss National Bank introduced its first negative deposit rate since the 1970s. The Stoxx 600 has advanced 3.2 percent this week, recovering more than half of its December losses.

Shares have been volatile today. Some futures and options on stocks and indexes are expiring in a process known as quadruple witching. That often increases volatility and trading volume. The number of Stoxx 600 shares changing hands was 28 percent greater than the average for the past 30 days, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Miners and energy producers rose for a fourth day. BHP Billiton Ltd. added 3.7 percent and Rio Tinto Group gained 2.2 percent. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc climbed more than 2 percent. Oil-and-gas companies are heading for their biggest weekly jump in three years.

Source : Bloomberg

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