Gains in retailers and miners helped European stocks post their best three-day advance since January.
Delhaize Group jumped 15 percent, the most since 2003, and Royal Ahold NV rallied 5.5 percent after reports that the companies are in early stages of merger talks. Commodity producers climbed after China’s central bank cut interest rates for the third time in six months. Airbus Group NV lost 2.1 percent following the crash of a military plane. Piraeus Bank SA and Eurobank Ergasias SA lost more than 10 percent as euro-area finance ministers met to discuss bailout aid.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.3 percent to 401.34 at the close of trading in London, reversing a decline of as much as 0.2 percent and climbing as much as 0.5 percent. Its retailers rose 1.5 percent as a group, while a gauge of miners rallied 1.6 percent. The drop in Airbus dragged France’s CAC 40 Index down 1.2 percent, while Greece’s ASE Index slid 2.5 percent.
The Stoxx 600 rebounded 1.4 percent last week after its biggest weekly slump of the year. It climbed the most since December on Friday, buoyed by a surprise election win for British Prime Minister David Cameron’s party and improving U.S. jobs data. The gauge closed 3.1 percent away from an April record.