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European stocks rise, led by banks, headed for monthly gain

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European stocks rose on Wednesday morning led by banks, which were bolstered by merger speculation between Deutsche Bank (DB) and Commerzbank (CBK.DE) Germany’s two largest lenders.

In equities, Commerzbank rose 4.1% after Germany’s Manager Magazine claimed that Deutsche Bank had explored a takeover bid for its smaller rival without citing sources. Deutsche Bank shares rose 3%. German insurer Allianz (ALV.DE) gained 1.5% in Frankfurt.

French industrial conglomerate Bouygues (BOUY.PA) rose 3.9% after the company named two new deputy chief executives to prepare for the succession of the current head, Martin Bouygues, according to a statement on its website. The group also reiterated its expectation for improved profitability this year following an increase in current operating profit lifted by earnings at Bouygues Telecom.

French telecom company Numericable (NUM.PA) gained 4.1% and lender BNP Paribas (BNP.PA) advanced 2.5% in Paris.

Mining companies were under pressure on concern about global demand for commodities. BHP Billiton (BHP) lost 2.1% and Anglo American (AAL.L) slid 1.6% in London. Rio Tinto (RIO) fell 1.2%.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index gained 0.2% on Wednesday, heading for a second monthly increase, up 1.1% in August. The euro-region blue-chip STOXX 50 index rose 0.3%. France’s CAC 40 gained 0.4% and the FTSE 100 in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were little changed.

Paul

The author Paul