European Stocks Jump After Fed Announces Taper


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European stocks gained after the Federal Reserve said it would start to taper its bond-buying program in January, lowering the amount of its purchases by $10 billion. The Fed also suggested the Fed funds rate would remain low for some time.

Around the region, the current-account balance in the eurozone increased to a surplus of 21.8 billion euros ($30 billion) in October, following an upwardly revised EUR14.9 billion surplus in September.

UK retail sales rose 0.3% on the month and 2.0% on the year in November. In October the index fell a revised 0.9% on the month and rose 1.8% in annual terms. Economists had forecast sales rose 0.4% from November and by 2.5% from a year earlier.

German wages rose 1.3% in Q3 from a year ago, but pay gains were more than eaten up by inflation. Consumer prices rose 1.6% in this period, the statistics office said, resulting in a decline in wages of 0.3% in real terms.

Swiss GDP will expand 1.9% this year, government agency Seco predicted. That is up slightly from a previous forecast of 1.8%. It kept its projection for growth in 2014 steady at 2.3% and expects the economy to grow 2.7% in 2015.

In ADR news, AstraZeneca PLC ( AZN ) said it is buying Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s ( BMY ) entire stake in the two companies' diabetes venture for up to $4.1 billion. AZN will pay an initial $2.7 billion for BMY's interest and up to a further $1.4 billion in regulatory, launch and sales-related payments. It will also pay various sales-related royalty payments up until 2025 and may make payments up to $225 million when certain assets are subsequently transferred.

The FTSE-100 was last up 1.43% at 6,584.70, the DAX up 1.68% at 9,335.74 and the CAC-40 up 1.64% at 4,177.03.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities
More Headlines for: AZN , BMY

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