16 Mar 2013

European stocks advanced for a fourth week, the longest winning streak in almost three months, as the region’s leaders eased constraints on national budgets and U.S. retail sales and jobless-benefit claims pointed to a recovery in the world’s biggest economy.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) gained 0.7 percent to 297.46 this past week. The gauge slipped 0.4 percent yesterday, retreating from the highest level since June 2008. Spain sold 803 million euros ($1.05 billion) of debt at an extraordinary auction on March 14 and Italy issued 6.99 billion euros of securities the previous day. Ireland sold its first 10-year bond since receiving a European Union-led bailout three years ago.

“The key driver is still of course the international monetary policy from central banks,” said Andreas Lipkow, a senior market strategist at Kliegel & Hafner AG in Berlin. “The auctions for government bonds out of Spain, Italy and Ireland were a sign for investors that the situation in Europe is not as bad as they maybe thought. ‘Go with the flow’ is the theme right now.”

Tom Stoukas- Bloomberg

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