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Europe: Stocks hold biggest weekly advance in two months


[LONDON] European stocks held on to a weekly advance spurred by optimism over Federal Reserve monetary policy, while investors awaited US bank earnings.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was unchanged at 8.12am in London. The benchmark has climbed 1.6 per cent this week, the most since early May, after comments by Fed Chair Janet Yellen spurred expectations the central bank won't rush to tighten policy.

Construction companies were the worst Stoxx 600 performers on Friday, with Skanska AB down 4.2 per cent after saying project writedowns in the US and the UK will weigh on quarterly profit.

Swedish lender SEB AB climbed 2.6 per cent after its second-quarter net interest income beat estimates.

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Earnings from Wall Street banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup are due today.

The UK acknowledged for the first time on paper that it will have to pay money to the European Union as it withdraws from the bloc. The FTSE 100 Index was little changed.