Europe Stocks Resume Rally After Fed Stresses Gradual Rate Rise

European stocks resumed an advance that had halted yesterday, after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting showed policy makers expect interest rates to increase at a slow pace.

Fed officials signaled their faith in the strength of the world’s biggest economy, saying it may “become appropriate” to raise the benchmark lending rate next month. They largely agreed that any tightening would be gradual, helping send the Stoxx Europe 600 Index 1 percent higher at 9:28 a.m. in London.

All 19 Stoxx 600 industry groups advanced, with commodity producers rallying the most. BHP Billiton Ltd. and Anglo American Plc increased 2.9 percent or more.

Some stocks were active on corporate news. BG Group Plc gained 2 percent after Australia’s competition watchdog cleared Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s $ 70 billion deal to buy it. Shell added 1.5 percent.

Royal Mail Plc advanced 6.1 percent after accelerating cost cuts in the U.K. and posting earnings that beat projections. ThyssenKrupp AG rose 2.1 percent after profit increased and the German steelmaker proposed to boost its dividend. NN Group NV climbed 4.1 percent after its solvency ratio improved and it completed some cost-cutting measures ahead of schedule.

National Bank of Greece SA and Piraeus Bank SA each tumbled 28 percent after the European Central Bank lowered its ceiling for emergency assistance to the country’s lenders. The ASE Index declined 1.4 percent for the worst performance among developed markets.

The Stoxx 600 has jumped 13 percent since a September low and is heading for its biggest weekly gain in a month. It climbed for the first two days of the week as energy producers rallied and a weaker euro helped exporters, before dropping 0.1 percent yesterday.

Source : Bloomberg

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U.S. Stocks Rally as Fed Minutes Stress Gradual Rate Increases

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rallied the most in almost a month as Federal Reserve meeting minutes signaled policy makers think the economy is strengthening enough to withstand higher interest rates as soon as next month, while stressing the pace of any increases will be gradual.

Gains among banks and biotechnology companies led a rally as eight of the S&P 500’s 10 main industries rose more than 1.2 percent. A cluster of deal activity ranging from railroads to food manufacturers also helped lift equities Wednesday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 1.6 percent to 2,083.54 at 4 p.m. in New York, with the gauge rising above its average price during the past 200 days.

Fed officials inserted language into their October statement to stress that “it may well become appropriate” to raise the benchmark lending rate in December and largely agreed that the pace of increases would be gradual, minutes of the meeting showed.

Equities rallied ahead of the minutes as policy makers earlier signaled confidence in the economy and stuck to the message that rate increases will not be hurried. The S&P 500 had fallen as much as 4 percent after Fed Chair Janet Yellen earlier this month reminded investors that raising rates in December was a “live possibility,” and jobs data showed the biggest increase in hiring this year. The gauge has since pared its drop since Yellen’s comments to a 1.3 percent decline.

Source : Bloomberg

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