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European stock index reaches 6-year high; Italian, Spanish bonds rise

ChinaElectionsPolitics and GovernmentBusinessLundin Mining CorporationAstraZeneca PlcEuropean Central Bank
Stoxx Europe 600 index climbs 0.6% to the highest level since January 2008
Policymakers in Europe, China say they will take steps to support economic growth

While U.S. and British markets were closed for holidays Monday, stocks rose in Europe.

A benchmark of European equities climbed to a six-year high, while Italian and Spanish bonds advanced as policymakers said they would take steps to support economic growth. Shares in Russia gained, and crude oil fell as Ukraine elected a new president.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index climbed 0.6% to the highest level since January 2008.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled Monday that officials are ready to take action against low inflation, while China Premier Li Keqiang said in a statement Friday that the government will adjust policy to help the economy.

Italian bond yields tumbled after Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's party defeated a populist challenge in European parliamentary elections. Billionaire Petro Poroshenko's victory in Ukraine's presidential vote was welcomed by the U.S. and Europe.

Canadian stocks were little changed. Copper miners Lundin Mining Corp. and Teck Resources climbed at least 0.3% as the commodity advanced. Black Diamond Group added 0.5% after saying it had signed a $34-million contract to build a camp in the Montney natural-gas region in British Columbia.

Shares of Pfizer Inc. traded in Germany reversed losses after the biggest U.S. drug maker abandoned efforts to buy British rival AstraZeneca in what would have been the biggest deal ever in the drug industry. The stock rose 0.2% after being down as much as 1%.

In India, the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.1%. Narendra Modi, who was sworn in as India's prime minister, signaled that he would cut the number of cabinet ministers in an overhaul of the nation's top decision-making body.

In China, the Shanghai composite index added 0.3% in its second day of gains. China's benchmark money-market rate dropped the most in three weeks after Li signaled more policy easing to counter a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.

"Premier Li's comments, which have been consistent with previous comments that the central government will take actions to stabilize growth, assured the market that there won't be a rate spike in June," said Chen Peng, an analyst at Fortune Securities Co. in Shenzhen.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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