Euro stocks cap biggest monthly gain since 2009

EurobondsEuropean shares were little changed on the final day of trading in a month that has seen their strongest rally in six years.

IAG SA slipped 2.5 per cent after its 2015 forecast trailed analyst predictions. L’Oreal SA fell 4.6 per cent on worse-than-projected sales, dragging a gauge of personal and household goods to the biggest drop among industry groups. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA lost 3.5 per cent after posting a loss. BNP Paribas SA and Airbus Group SE added at least 1.8 per cent after their profits topped estimates.

“We’re part way through earnings season and I think it’s been mixed,” said Ben Kumar who helps oversee about $14 billion as an investment manager at Seven Investment Management in London. “It’s not been a particularly fun ride but if you’re overweight Europe since the start of the year, you’ve had a pretty decent year.”

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index Index dropped less than 0.1 per cent at the close of trading. After rising as much as 0.3 per cent and falling as much as 0.7 per cent, the gauge pared losses in the latter half of the session and almost erased a drop in the final settlement.

Europe’s benchmark measure gained eight per cent in October after President Mario Draghi said the European Central Bank will consider additional easing in December. Its rebound from a quarterly rout has been led by gains in carmakers, miners and energy producers — the groups most battered in the selloff.

Japan Stimulus
The Bank of Japan refrained from boosting its monetary stimulus on Friday, while Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he didn’t see any limits to further action.

Among other stocks active on corporate news, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc slipped one per cent after reporting profit that missed estimates. Renault SA rose 5.3 per cent after its revenue rose more than projected. Nokian Renkaat Oyj jumped 16 per cent after its quarterly earnings beat estimates.

Euro-region consumer prices stagnated in October after falling 0.1 per cent the previous month, a report showed today. Unemployment decreased in September, a separate release showed.

While euro-area stocks have rallied this month, their performance in the longer run calls into question the Draghi effect. In the past two years, an index that tracks the currency region’s equities has risen as much as a European gauge that also includes U.K. and Swiss shares. U.S. and Japanese equities have advanced more.

Investors are skeptical whether the stimulus is boosting profits, and disappointing results from Deutsche Bank AG and Novartis AG have dragged the Stoxx 600 to its first weekly drop in four, down 0.5 per cent.

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