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Europe: Stocks advance as Greece concern fades, China rebounds

[FRANKFURT] European stocks rose as investors shrugged off concern about Greece's debt crisis and Chinese shares rebounded.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 2.2 per cent to 381.06 at the close of trading, after flirting with a correction during the past two days. The measure closed just under 10 per cent below its April record on Wednesday.

"Greece should be priced in by now," said Heinz-Gerd Sonnenschein, a strategist at Deutsche Postbank AG, in Bonn, Germany. "Most indexes in Europe entered corrections and we might have finally found a floor. It's beginning to feel like we'll be able to close this chapter and many people are looking to step back into the market."

The Greek government is working to pull together an economic package to convince European leaders that it can stay in the euro area. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has until midnight Thursday to present officials with a plan that includes spending cuts, in exchange for a new European bailout.

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Equities in so-called peripheral markets were among the biggest gainers Thursday, after bearing the brunt of a two-day selloff following the Greek vote against austerity. Spain's IBEX 35 Index added 2.7 per cent and Portugal's PSI 20 Index climbed 4 per cent, its largest advance since April 2013. The Athens stock exchange will remain closed through July 13.

In China, stocks jumped the most since 2009 in volatile trading as the government battled to restore investor confidence.

A measure of banks in Europe posted the biggest gain of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600, led by Banco Comercial Portugues SA and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA. Commodity producers also rose, with shares sensitive to Chinese growth including Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton Ltd adding at least 1.6 per cent. Digital Entertainment Plc advanced 1.7 per cent after getting a 110-pence-a-share takeover proposal from GVC Holdings Plc.

Barratt Developments Plc climbed 4.4 per cent, rebounding from its biggest drop in almost a year. The British housebuilder said full-year profit will increase about 45 per cent, or more than projected.

Man Group Plc jumped 5.9 per cent after Bank of America Corp reiterated its buy rating of the shares on expectations of a good first-half performance.

Balfour Beatty Plc retreated 3.6 per cent after Britain's biggest builder said first-half earnings figures will be clipped by newly discovered issues with mismanaged construction contracts.

Saipem SpA declined 2.3 per cent after losing its US$2.2 billion contract to lay a Russian natural-gas pipeline under the Black Sea.