European Stocks Extend 2007 High as Bayer, GDF Gain on Earnings

European stocks climbed to the highest level since July 2007 as Bayer AG and GDF Suez SA rose after reporting earnings.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 1 percent to 390.69 at the close of trading, the biggest gain in more than a month. Bayer added 3.7 percent as it forecast an increase in 2015 sales. GDF Suez gained 1 percent after saying it will cut costs and posting annual net income in line with estimates.

The Stoxx 600 has rallied 6.4 percent in February, pushing gains this year to 14 percent, as Greece reached a bailout deal and the European Central Bank announced quantitative easing.

In Germany, the DAX Index jumped 1 percent as data showed unemployment in February fell twice as much as forecast.

Among other stocks moving after results, Solvay SA rallied 3.8 percent as it reported quarterly net income that was more than double the average analyst projection.

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV gained 3.1 percent after announcing plans to buy back $ 1 billion of shares. The brewer said beer industry volume in the U.S., its largest market, will continue to improve this year. Peers Heineken NV and Carlsberg A/S rose more than 2 percent. A gauge of food and beverage companies posted the best performance among 19 Stoxx 600 industry groups.

Cie. de Saint-Gobain SA slipped 2.1 percent as Europe’s biggest supplier of building materials reported annual net income that missed analysts’ predictions.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc slid 4.1 percent after posting a seventh annual loss as it wrote down the value of its U.S. unit. Operating profit fell short of projections.

Source: Bloomberg

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