European stocks rose, snapping a two-day drop, as Novartis AG and UBS AG rallied after posting financial updates and as U.S. consumer confidence surged to a seven-year high.
The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 1 percent to 328.25 at the close of trading as 18 of its 19 industry groups rose. The gauge briefly pared its advance after an earlier report showed U.S. durable-goods orders unexpectedly fell. Novartis added 1.8 percent after reporting third-quarter profit that beat estimates and UBS climbed 5.8 percent as it set aside funds for litigation.
Federal Reserve officials are holding a two-day policy meeting and are expected to announce tomorrow an end to bond purchases that swelled the central banks balance sheet to a record. Minutes from the last meeting, when the Fed pledged to keep interest rates low for a considerable time, revealed officials concern that U.S. growth may be at risk from a global slowdown.
New York-based Conference Board said its gauge of U.S. consumer confidence rose to 94.5 in October, the highest reading since the same month in 2007. A separate report showed durable-goods orders in the worlds largest economy fell 1.3 percent in September, missing analysts median forecast for a 0.5 percent gain.