The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.1 percent and ended the week with a 1.2 percent gain. Berkeley Group Holdings Plc jumped 4.7 percent to a five-year high as the U.K.’s second- largest homebuilder by market value said first-half profit rose 45 percent. Deutsche Telekom AG, Germany’s biggest phone company, fell 1.9 percent after forecasting a lower dividend for the first time in three years.
The euro slipped against all but three of its 16 major counterparts. A majority of ECB policy makers were open to cutting the benchmark rate yesterday and there is a possibility of a reduction early next year if the economy doesn’t pick up, three officials with knowledge of the Governing Council’s discussions said.
“The euro will continue to be sold,” said Kikuko Takeda, senior currency economist in London at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. “Europe is in recession and with no prospects of it getting better any time soon.”
Agricultural commodities led losses in the S&P GSCI Index, which lost 0.4 percent. Soybean futures fell for the first time this week and corn extended its decline on speculation that planting delays will end in Argentina while rain improves crop conditions in Brazil. Wheat also slid.
Gold futures for February delivery rose 0.2 percent to settle at $1,705.50 an ounce. Gold traders are the least bullish in seven weeks as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the metal’s longest winning streak in at least nine decades will peak next year amid accelerating U.S. growth.
Fourteen of 31 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect prices to rise next week and 10 were bearish. A further seven were neutral, making the proportion of bulls the lowest since Oct. 19. Goldman lowered its 12-month estimate by 7 percent to $1,800 an ounce on Dec. 5 and said the metal would average $1,750 in 2014. Morgan Stanley said yesterday bullion will be among next year’s best-performing commodities.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 0.3 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index jumped 1.6 percent before data on Dec. 9 that may show China’s industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment gained in November, according to economists’ estimates. Brazil’s Bovespa index rallied 1.4 percent.