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European Stocks Rise as Ukraine Concern Eases Renault Up


European stocks advanced, after equities climbed the most in more than a month last week, as Ukrainian and Russian officials met for talks. U.S. index futures rose, while Asian shares were little changed.

United Internet AG added 4 percent after saying it bought a 10.7 percent stake in Rocket Internet AG. Renault SA advanced 3 percent, helping push a gauge of automakers for the biggest gain among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Neste Oil Oyj fell 2.2 percent after the Finnish company said one of its refineries will have a lower production.

The Stoxx 600 rallied 0.9 percent to 332.78 at 10:03 a.m. in London after advancing 1.5 percent last week. All of the gauge’s industry groups climbed today. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added 0.4 percent, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped less than 0.1 percent.

“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.

Ukraine Talks

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 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.

United Internet climbed 4 percent to 32.39 euros. The online-access and domain provider bought the Rocket Internet stake for 435 million euros ($582 million). United Internet is paying 333 million euros in cash and will transfer its equity participation in the portfolio of Global Founders Capital funds to Rocket, representing 102 million euros, a statement showed.

A gauge of carmakers and auto-parts companies rallied 1.9 percent. Renault, Europe’s third-biggest carmaker, advanced 3 percent to 59.27 euros. Finnish tiremaker Nokian Renkaat Oyj gained 2.5 percent to 24.13 euros.

Private Banking

Commerzbank AG advanced 1.4 percent to 10.79 euros. Profit margins in Germany’s private-banking industry will probably rise, Boersen-Zeitung reported, citing an interview with Commerzbank wealth management board member Gustav Holtkemper.

Deutsche Telekom AG added 1.1 percent to 11.24 euros. Europe’s largest phone company may buy cable providers such as Tele Columbus GmbH or Primacom AG, Focus magazine reported, citing Niek Jan van Damme, the head of Deutsche Telekom’s domestic business.

Swedish Match AB climbed 1.5 percent to 231.80 kronor after Borsen reported that Scandinavian Tobacco Group Assens A/S is mulling an initial public offering. Swedish Match owns 49% of STG. The newspaper cited chairman Joergen Tandrup.

Neste Oil dropped 2.2 percent to 14.24 euros. The company said a damage to the hydrogen plant at its Porvoo refinery will cut production.

(Source: Bloomberg)