Banking, finance, and taxes

Miners and Banks Boost European Stocks

European stocks are up today on the possibility of further monetary stimulus in China boosted investor confidence, and investors await reports that may show the U.S. economy is improving.

Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg, head of the group of eurozone finance ministers, heads to Athens tomorrow to discuss with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras a two-year extension to the country’s fiscal-adjustment program. French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet in Berlin on Thursday.

In European trading, miners Rio Tinto PLC (NYSE: RIO) picked up 1.8%, BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) rose 1.4% and Anglo American PLC gained 1.8%. Lonmin PLC was up 2.5% after management said striking miners who do not return to work today may keep their jobs.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (NYSE: RBS) added 2%, while Barclays PLC (NYSE: BCS) gained 1.6% and Lloyds Banking Group PLC (NYSE: LYG) increased 1%. Credit Agricole SA rose 2.2%, Société Générale SA added 1.7% and BNP Paribas SA was 1.6% higher. Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB) added 1.2%.

Straumann plunged 6.7% after a disappointing earnings report. Chocolate maker Lindt slipped 0.8% despite better-than-expected earnings.

London’s FTSE 100 is up 0.3%. The German Dax is 0.4% higher and the CAC 40 has gained 0.7%.

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