European stocks gained, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index extending its biggest weekly advance in five weeks, as investors watched the expiry of derivative contracts. U.S. stock-index futures and Asian shares also rose.
The Stoxx 600 rose 0.3 percent to 328.75 at 8:55 a.m. in London. The benchmark gauge has added 2 percent this week, for a 0.2 percent gain this year. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures advanced 0.3 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 0.6 percent, following its biggest loss in six weeks.
The market may be more volatile today and trading volumes might be greater as futures and options contracts expire in a process known as witching. The VStoxx Index, which measures expected Euro Stoxx 50 Index volatility using options prices, has dropped 24 percent so far this week, for its largest weekly decline in 14 months.
The number of shares trading hands in Stoxx 600-listed companies was 34 percent greater than the average of the past 30 days at this time of the day, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. The European equity gauge is trading at 14.6 times the projected earnings of its members, down from 15.7 times at the end of 2013, which was the highest valuation in four years.
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