EU stocks rise second day as airline profits beat
European stocks climbed, extending yesterday's biggest rally in two weeks, as Air France-KLM Group and Deutsche Lufthansa AG posted earnings that beat estimates. US futures and Asian shares also advanced. A financial trader monitors data on computer screens at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Frankfurt.
Air France-KLM and Lufthansa, Europe's two largest airlines, both rallied more than 7 percent. ArcelorMittal declined 4.7 percent after the world's biggest steelmaker posted its lowest quarterly profit in almost three years. AnheuserBusch InBev NV also fell.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.2 percent to 272.41 at 8:53 a.m. in London, after rallying 0.9 percent yesterday. Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures gained 0.6 percent as US equity markets reopen after a two-day shutdown from Hurricane Sandy. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.8 percent.
European stocks rallied the most in two weeks yesterday as companies from BP Plc to Deutsche Bank AG reported earnings that topped estimates and economic data showed an increase in U.S. house prices. Asian shares extended the rally today after South Korea's industrial production expanded.
Trading volumes across Europe were lower for the past two days following the longest weather-related shutdown of U.S. equity markets in more than a century. The number of shares changing hands in companies listed on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index has been at least 40 percent lower than the 30-day average, according to data Euro-area finance chiefs will try to get Greece's bailout plan back on track today as officials split on whether the country needs another debt writedown and Greek politicians squabble over further austerity measures.
With recession biting, policy makers are again seeking ways to keep Greece in the euro and avert an exit. Finance min- isters will hold a conference call at 12:30 p.m. Brussels time and may release a statement afterwards.
Air France-KLM jumped 7.3 percent to 6.38 euros. Europe's largest airline today reported a 27 percent increase in third- quarter operating profit to 506 million euros ($656 million) as job cuts and improved summer traffic offset higher fuel costs.
Analysts had predicted earnings of 434 million euros, based on the average of nine estimates. Lufthansa added 7.4 percent to 11.80 euros. Europe's second-largest airline reported a 6.2 percent increase in thirdquarter operating profit to 648 million euros as a cost-savings program helped boost earnings. Analysts had predicted earnings of 522 million euros, based on nine estimates.
ArcelorMittal (MT) lost 4.7 percent to 11.64 euros after it said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization dropped to $1.34 billion from $2.41 billion a year earlier. That's in line with the $1.3 billion median estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Full-year Ebitda will be about $7 billion, the steelmaker said.
AB InBev declined 1 percent to 65.62 euros even after the brewer reported a 9.1 percent increase in total organic sales, boosted by higher prices in the U.S. and in Brazil. That topped the median analyst estimate of 7.5 percent, the company said today in a statement. Organic volume, which excludes acquisitions and disposals, fell 0.3 percent. That missed the median estimate of six analysts for a 2 percent increase.
Barclays slid 4.5 percent to 228 pence. The bank today reported a 29 percent rise in third-quarter pretax profit to 1.73 billion pounds ($2.8 billion), as revenue from the fixed- income arm of its securities unit increased. That compares to the 1.71 billion-pound median estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The stock rallied 3.4 percent yesterday.