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European Stocks Rise To Two Year Highs

European Stocks Rise To Two Year Highs - European stocks advanced to their highest level in more than two years after President Barack Obama agreed to extend tax cuts, offsetting concern that Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis will spread. U.S. futures and Asian shares gained.

Unilever climbed 3.7 percent after Morgan Stanley recommended the shares of the world’s second-largest consumer- goods maker. BP Plc gained 2 percent as the company was said to assess the sale of some North Sea assets. Tesco Plc advanced after the U.K.’s largest supermarket chain posted increased sales as Britons bought more of its Finest range.

The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 1.2 percent to 274.74 at 10:32 a.m. in London. The gauge rose yesterday, led by basic-resource and chemical shares, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the U.S. central bank may expand its bond-purchase program beyond the $600 billion announced last month. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added 0.7 percent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3 percent.

The U.S. tax cut extension “will probably boost the economy,” Matthias Jasper, head of equities at WGZ Bank AG in Dusseldorf, said. “That combined with the Fed flooding the market with liquidity is very positive for equities. The equity markets are poised to go up in 2011 as the risk/reward ratio is positive.”

European Stocks Rise To Two Year Highs

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