European stocks advanced for a second day as A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S and Imperial Tobacco Group Plc climbed after posting earnings.

Maersk jumped 4.9 percent after the world’s biggest container-shipping line raised its full-year profit forecast. Imperial Tobacco added 2.3 percent after reporting a smaller sales decline than analysts had predicted. Balfour Beatty Plc gained 3.2 percent as Carillion Plc increased its offer for the builder. BHP Billiton Ltd. dropped 4.9 percent after the mining company posted annual profit that missed analysts’ estimates.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.6 percent to 335.49 at the close of trading, extending the rebound from its Aug. 8 low to 3.3 percent. The equity benchmark rallied 1.2 percent yesterday as talks between Ukraine and Russia eased concern about the conflict between the two countries.

Earnings for Euro Stoxx 50 Index companies will probably rise to 220.35 euros on average this year. Analysts projected profit of 217.79 euros as recently as July 30, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Federal Reserve releases the minutes of its July 29-30 policy meeting tomorrow, while the Bank of England publishes the minutes from its August session. Both central banks are considering when to start raising interest rates in their respective countries.

Source : Bloomberg