European Stocks Climb on Spain Bailout Speculation

European (SXXP) stocks climbed, halting a four-day decline for the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index, as yields on benchmark Spanish bonds slipped amid speculation that the country’s government will soon ask for a bailout.

Italian and Spanish lenders rallied as Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP) jumped 5.2 percent after reporting that operating profit surged in the third quarter. EON AG slumped 12 percent after Germany’s biggest utility lowered its earnings forecast for 2013. Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) slid 2.5 percent after the world’s second-largest mobile-phone company took a $9.4-billion writedown for its operations in Spain and Italy.

The Stoxx 600 rose 0.4 percent to 270.6 at the close, erasing an earlier decline of as much as 0.8 percent. The equity benchmark fell 1.9 percent from President Barack Obama’s re- election on Nov. 6 through yesterday as investors’ attention turned to impending U.S. tax increases and spending cuts, known as the fiscal cliff, and the European debt crisis.

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