European stocks advanced for a second day, as retailers climbed and data showed U.K. inflation fell to the lowest level in 15 years.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 1.4 percent to 344.77 at the close of trading. The equity gauge extended gains after a report showed Britain™s consumer-price growth slowed to 0.5 percent in December, below estimates, amid a plunge in oil prices. The U.K.™s FTSE 100 Index climbed 0.6 percent. With crude below $45 a barrel, speculation is rising that the European Central Bank will need to step up stimulus measures to avert deflation.
Retailers rose the most of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600. William Morrison Supermarkets Plc jumped 4.5 percent after saying it will start a search for a new chief executive officer to replace Dalton Philips, who will step down at the end of the year. It also reported sales at stores open at least a year fell 3.1 percent, excluding fuel, in the six weeks ended Jan. 4. That beat the median estimate of analysts for a 4 percent drop.
Tesco Plc advanced 3.6 percent, J Sainsbury Plc rose 3.6 percent and Ocado Group Plc increased 2.5 percent.
Metro AG gained 4.5 percent. The operator of Germany™s Kaufhof department stores reported an increase in first-quarter adjusted revenue as all divisions had better same-store sales in December.