European Stocks Snap Losing Streak as Fed Decision Approaches

European stocks rebounded from a two-month low, following the worst weekly selloff since August, as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s impending rate decision.

Equities are rising for the first time in five days, with traders pricing in a 74 percent chance that Fed officials will announce a rate increase on Wednesday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.6 percent at 8:19 a.m. in London, as all 19 industry groups rose.

The Stoxx 600 has still fallen 7.1 percent this month through Friday amid a rout in commodities and disappointment over the extent of European stimulus, defying a seasonal trend that has yielded gains in five of the past six Decembers.

Among stocks active on corporate news, Telecom Italia SpA rose 3.4 percent after Vivendi SA decided to abstain from voting on a plan to convert the Italian company’s savings shares into ordinary shares at tomorrow’s meeting of stock holders.

Source: Bloomberg

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Japan’s Topix Heads for Seven-Year High as Yen Approaches 120

Japanese stocks rose for a fifth day, with the Topix index heading for a seven-year high after data showed renewed momentum in the U.S. economic recovery and the yen touched its weakest since 2007.

Topix advanced 0.8 percent to 1,441.41, poised for its highest close since December 2007. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average increased 1 percent to 17,901.74 today. The yen fell to as low as 119.88 per dollar after sliding 0.5 percent yesterday. U.S. stocks closed at records on signs of progress in the labor market and service industries, while European shares gained ahead of a central bank decision on monetary policy today. Oil futures rebounded 0.8 percent yesterday after tumbling 3.1 percent on Dec. 2.

Japan’s currency has fallen 12 percent against the dollar this year, with losses extending after the Bank of Japan boosted stimulus on Oct. 31. In contrast, the Federal Reserve ended its third round of bond purchases amid an economic recovery in the U.S.

Source: Bloomberg