Market strength back; perhaps numbers lie

Europe Stocks

ThyssenKrupp AG climbed 4.1 percent after Germany’s largest steelmaker reported first-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates. Banco Popolare SC gained 3 percent after Bank of America Corp. increased its price estimate for Italy’s fourth- biggest bank.

“This is the third consecutive quarter of positive growth in the eurozone, but comes with the additional charm of much broader-based growth spreading beyond the core countries,” Evelyn Herrmann, an economist at BNP Paribas SA in London, said in a note.

Italy’s 10-year yield slipped three basis points to 3.68 percent, after dropping to 3.66 percent on Feb. 12, the lowest since February 2006. The rate on similar-maturity Spanish securities slid as much as five basis points to 3.57 percent, the lowest since March 2006.

Treasury Yields

Volatility in U.S. government securities measured by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch MOVE Index fell to 58.09 yesterday, the lowest level since May 16.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 1.2 percent, extending this week’s gain to 2.1 percent, the most since the period ended Sept. 20. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.8 percent and is 3.5 percent higher this week. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies listed in Hong Kong added 0.6 percent.

China’s consumer price index rose 2.5 percent from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today, the same pace as in December.

Australia’s dollar rallied following a two-day decline after the price data from China, the nation’s biggest trading partner. It rose 0.5 percent to 90.26 U.S. cents.

Hungary’s forint strengthened 0.5 percent against the euro, after the economy grew the most in seven years in the fourth quarter. The benchmark BUX index of stocks added 1.3 percent.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which monitors the greenback against 10 major peers, fell 0.2 percent to 1,018.12, the lowest level this year. The euro strengthened 0.1 percent to $1.3690 and the yen gained 0.2 percent to 101.92.

Gold rose 1.3 percent to $1,317 an ounce in New York. The metal is headed for a 4.3 percent gain this week that would be the biggest since August. Silver climbed 4 percent for an 11th straight advance to the highest price since Nov. 12.

West Texas Intermediate oil declined 0.4 percent to $99.96 a barrel for a second day of losses on speculation that crude inventories will accumulate.

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