Today’s gain trimmed the Stoxx 600’s drop from this year’s high on Jan. 29 to 1.1%. The volume of shares changing hands in Stoxx 600 companies was 11% lower than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Barclays Plc climbed 8.6% as the U.K. bank said it will eliminate 3,700 jobs to reduce costs after posting its first full-year loss in more than two decades. L’Oreal SA, the world’s largest cosmetics maker, rallied 3.8% as earnings increased.
Finmeccanica SpA, Italy’s biggest defense company, plunged 7.3% as two people familiar with the matter said Chief Executive Officer Giuseppe Orsi was arrested amid a probe of possible bribes paid to win the sale of 12 helicopters to India.
Spanish and Italian bonds advanced as the two nations auctioned a total of 14 billion euros ($18.8 billion) of bills. The yield on Spain’s two-year notes slipped 10 basis points to 2.69%, and the rate on similar-maturity Italian debt slipped eight basis points to 1.65%.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index was little changed and is up 0.4% for the year. That compares with a 5.5% gain in 2013 for the MSCI World Index of developed nations. Sixty-one percent of companies in the MSCI gauge for emerging markets have reported quarterly profit that missed estimates, almost twice the rate for developed nations, Bloomberg data show.
South Korea’s Kospi Index closed 0.3% lower, erasing a 0.4% advance, after North Korea tested a nuclear weapon. Poland’s WIG20 Index lost 1.1% as Telekomunikacja Polska SA, the nation’s largest phone company, tumbled 28% after cutting its dividend proposal for the second time in four months. India’s Sensex Index jumped 0.5%, snapping an eight-day rout. Indonesia’s benchmark gauge jumped 1%. Markets in China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Vietnam are shut for Lunar New Year.
Nickel and lead added at least 1.1% for the biggest gains in the S&P GSCI Index of commodities, while sugar, wheat and cotton retreated. Corn dropped 0.9% on forecasts for increased production. Oil rose 0.5% to $97.51 per barrel in New York.