U.K. stocks fell for a third day as data from Japan and Korea added to evidence that global growth is slowing, amid speculation that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke won’t announce new stimulus measures tomorrow.
European stocks advanced for the third time in four days after lenders including Credit Suisse Group AG reported profits that beat estimates, while minutes showed the Bank of England may reconsider the case for an interest-rate cut.
Companies in Europe are boosting spending on plants, computers and equipment for the first time in four years, a sign to investors that stocks will overcome the region’s sovereign debt crisis as economic growth builds.
The fastest profit growth since 2004 will push European stocks up 15 percent by January, handing investors the biggest two-year advance in a decade, according to estimates from 13 strategists surveyed by Bloomberg.
European companies are reporting the biggest profit rise in six years as the region’s economic expansion overcomes the sovereign debt crisis, making stock strategists almost twice as bullish as their U.S. counterparts.