Europe Stocks Rally With Fed Meeting In Focus

European stock markets rose on Monday, tracking Asia stocks higher and with investors focusing on whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will make any changes to its monetary policy when it meets later this week.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index  gained 0.8% to 293.65, after posting a fourth straight week of losses on Friday.

Shares of Royal Philips NV   added 3.3% after Deutsche Bank lifted the electronics firm to buy from hold.

On a more downbeat note, shares of Saipem SpA  sank 21% after the oilfield-services firm late Friday cut its 2013 guidance because of escalating difficulties in Algeria. The Italian company now expects a full-year loss between 300 million euros ($400 million) and €350 million, down from an earlier forecast of profit of around €450 million.

For the broader stock markets, investors were mainly concerned about the U.S. Fed and whether it will start tapering its aggressive bond-buying program or raise rates at its two-day meeting ending Wednesday. Most analysts expect the central bank to keep interest rates low and maintain its $85-billion-a-month asset purchases, but don’t rule out the possibility of a reduction in the program later in the year.

Global stock markets climbed to multiyear highs in May, boosted by central-bank liquidity, but comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke about potentially tapering off in coming months sparked a selloff.

U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street.

Stocks in Asia closed mostly higher with the Japanese Nikkei 225 index  rallying 2.7% on the back of a weaker yen.

Back in Europe, shares of Cie. Financière Richemont SA   put on 2.8% after HSBC lifted the luxury goods firm to overweight from neutral.

Among country-specific indexes, Germany’s DAX 30 index  added 1.3% to 8,237.01 and France’s CAC 40 index  gained 1.4% to 3,855.84.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index  picked up 0.7% to 6,352.88.

Source : Marketwatch

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