European Shares Close at Five-Year Highs

LONDON – European shares closed at five-year highs Monday, while Germany’s DAX climbed to a new record, supported by some well-received corporate news and economic data.

The main European benchmark indexes shrugged off early losses to post a third straight day of gains after data showed that the euro zone’s trade surplus climbed to a decade high in September. The benchmark Stoxx 600 index added 0.5% to end the session at 324.71, the highest close in more than five years. Germany’s DAX climbed 0.6% to a fresh all-time high, while France’s CAC 40 rose 0.7% and London’s FTSE 100 0.5%.

The positive tone continued as U.S. markets opened, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average advancing to top 16000 for the first time.

Corporate earnings lent a helping hand in Europe.

EUShares in European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. were up after the company posted orders for its A380 superjumbo and new long-range A350 at the Dubai air show.

Sonova gained after raising its full-guidance, as it reported a 10.6% rise in first-half profit.Aberdeen Asset Management rose sharply after the release of its full-year results and following news that it will buy Scottish Widows Investment Partnership from Lloyds Banking Group.

On the downside, Petrofac tumbled after the company released a cautious statement, saying it expects net income in 2014 to see flat to modest growth year-over-year.

Investors also had one eye on events later in the week, with the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee’s October minutes due on Wednesday, which will be scrutinized for further hints on the timing of any scaling back of the central bank’s $85 billion-a-month asset purchases.

Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank said the focus will be on any discussions regarding potential changes to the forward guidance, such as a lowering of the unemployment rate threshold below 6.5%, particularly after Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s remarks last week.

In currency markets, the euro gained against the dollar, trading at $1.3526 as European stock markets closed, from $1.3495 late Friday.

– WALL STREET JOURNAL

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