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The Deal: Europe, Asia Rise as U.S. Edges Closer to Debt Deal

Stocks in this article: AZN AAPL

LONDON (The Deal) -- European and Asian stocks edged higher Tuesday on hopes that the U.S. will solve its budget impasse before the Oct. 17 deadline for Congress to raise the country's debt ceiling or risk default.
In Germany, the Dax was up 0.55% at 8,771.96 as European Union finance chiefs declared they had slain the sovereign-debt dragon, with both Ireland and Spain on track to dispense with aid.
The Cac 40 in Paris was up 0.52% at 4,244.91 and in London the FTSE 100 was up 0.68% at 6,551.61.
Shares in Royal Mail rose for the third consecutive day as full trading began. The stock was up almost 2% at 484.25 pence ($7.73) and is now trading up 47% higher than its 330 pence IPO price on Friday.
Clothing maker Burberry fell 4.7% to 1,510 pence on news that its highly regarded CEO, Angela Ahrendts, will leave to become a senior vice president at Apple (AAPL). Her replacement is Christopher Bailey, who will also retain his role as creative director.
Drugmaker AstraZeneca (AZN) crept up 0.7% after it announced a deal worth up to $440 million to buy private equity-backed oncology specialist Spirogen.
In Zurich, shares in Swiss Re climbed Sfr0.45 to Sfr76.60 ($83.75) on a report that it may sell its Hartford, Conn.-based Aurora National Life Assurance unit, potentially raising more than $400 million.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan closed up 0.26% at 14,441,54 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.51% to 23,336.52, led by retailer China Resources Enterprise.
Chinese and U.K. officials agreed on a deal that will introduce direct trading between the renminbi and the pound and make London the European hub for trading in the Chinese currency. British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is also expected to announce a relaxation of regulatory requirements for Chinese banks operating in the U.K. The initiatives stem from a trade visit by officials including Osborne and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

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