European stocks advanced, after equities had their biggest weekly gain in more than a month, as Ukrainian and Russian officials met for talks.
United Internet AG added 3.7 percent after saying it bought a 10.7 percent stake in Rocket Internet AG. Renault SA advanced 2.8 percent, helping a gauge of automakers post the biggest gain among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Neste Oil Oyj fell after the Finnish company said production at one of its refineries will be lower.
The Stoxx 600 rallied 1.2 percent to 333.76 at 4:30 p.m. in London after advancing 1.5 percent last week. All of the gauge’s industry groups climbed today, while the volume of shares changing hands was 33 percent lower than the 30-day average, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“Every time you have a de-escalation of geopolitical risk, it works favorably to the market,” Steen Jakobsen, chief investment officer at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen, said in a phone interview. “The short-term direction of the stock market at the moment is driven almost entirely by whatever news is coming out of the Ukraine-Russia situation. I see this as a temporary relief.”
The Stoxx 600 pared its weekly advance on Aug. 15 after Ukraine said its troops partially destroyed a convoy that entered the country from Russia. The stocks gauge closed 5.7 percent below a six-year high reached June 10.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov met in Berlin in talks seeking to ease tension. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who also attended, said after the discussion that there was some progress made. Russia’s foreign minister said the talks haven’t produced a resolution.
In Iraq, Kurdish forces took control of most of the country’s largest dam. The U.S. widened its air strikes and used bombers for the first time since the offensive began on Aug. 8 to help secure the dam near Mosul, Iraq’s largest northern city, that had been seized by the insurgents.
National benchmark indexes advanced in 16 of the 18 western-European markets today. France’s CAC 40 Index rose 1.4 percent, and the DAX Index jumped 1.8 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index gained 0.8 percent. Portugal’s PSI 20 Index rallied 2.4 percent for a fourth day of gains.
--With assistance from Namitha Jagadeesh in London.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Morgan in Frankfurt at [email protected] To contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecile Vannucci at [email protected] Trista Kelley
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