Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
European stocks rose, with the equity benchmark heading for its biggest quarterly gain in three years, on optimism Spanish and French measures to reduce budget deficits will help resolve the region’s debt crisis. U.S. index futures and Asian shares fluctuated.
Cap Gemini SA climbed 2.2 percent after peer Accenture Plc forecast full-year earnings that topped analyst estimates. Novo Nordisk A/S gained 0.9 percent after the company said Japan approved its diabetes drug. Electrocomponents Plc plunged the most in more than seven years after saying full-year profit will miss analysts estimates.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.4 percent in London. The gauge has rallied 8.5 percent so far since July 1, heading for the biggest quarterly gain since September 2009, as global central banks expanded stimulus. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures increased less than 0.1 percent, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.2 percent.
“Spain’s budget for 2013 which -- including cuts to government spending, some tax increases and numerous reforms -- was well received,” said Craig Erlam, a market analyst at Alpari U.K. Ltd. “The details of the budget suggested Spain is on the verge of requesting a bailout from the EU as it included a lot of changes that would have been imposed on them.”
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Cabinet Thursday approved a new tax on lottery winnings and a cut in ministries’ spending to shrink the euro area’s third-biggest budget deficit. The government set a 2013 target of 4.5 percent of gross domestic product, compared with a 6.3 percent goal for this year, according to Bloomberg.
The Cabinet also approved using a pension reserve fund to meet an increase in retirement payments, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told reporters in Madrid before markets closed Thursday.
In France, President Francois Hollande will unveil the first Socialist government budget in a decade, with an aim to reduce the deficit to 3 percent of GDP from 4.5 percent in 2012. Hollande seeks to raise taxes by 20 billion euros ($26 billion) next year, including a levy of 75 percent on incomes above 1 million euros.
Cap Gemini rose 2.2 percent to 33.40 euros. Accenture, the world’s second-largest technology consulting company, said earnings for the fiscal year ending in August 2013 will be $4.22 to $4.30 a share, exceeding the average analyst estimate of $4.13.
Novo Nordisk advanced 0.9 percent to 924 kroner after saying Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare approved Tresiba, its insulin drug used in treating diabetes. The company expects to start selling the drug in Japan after price negotiations are completed.
Heineken NV gained 0.9 percent to 46.39 euros after Fraser & Neave Ltd.’s shareholders approved selling its 40 percent stake in Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd. to the Dutch brewer.
Thomas Cook Group Plc added 1.6 percent to 16.25 pence after the company said full-year earnings will be in line with its projections.