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Japanese markets were closed for holidays
European stocks declined, snapping the Stoxx Europe 600 Index’s longest winning streak in 10 months, as energy companies fell with oil and automakers slid after a report stoked speculation Germany may raise company-car taxes.
BG Group Plc (BG/) led a selloff in oil and gas companies. Volkswagen AG (VOW) paced a gauge of auto companies lower, dropping 1.7 percent in Frankfurt. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Antofagasta Plc (ANTO) fell more than 1.5 percent. Hannover Re slid 1 percent after the world’s third-biggest reinsurer cut its profit forecast
An index of oil and gas companies in the Stoxx 600 fell the most in three weeks as crude slid for a second day in New York. BG Group declined 1.9 percent to 1,504 pence. Dragon Oil Plc (DGO) sank 4.3 percent to 6 euros in Dublin and Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS) retreated 4.1 percent to 79.40 kroner.
A gauge of auto-industry shares dropped for the first time in nine days after a report commissioned by the German environment ministry said the government should change the way it taxes company cars.
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, which is scheduled to report earnings tomorrow, declined 1.7 percent to 63.37 euros and Daimler AG slid 1.6 percent to 51.65 euros.
Fiat SpA (F) retreated 2.1 percent to 7.33 euros as Italian car sales fell 2.2 percent last month. Sales of the company’s namesake brand dropped 15 percent, according to the Italian Transport Ministry.
U.S. stocks fell, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lower for a second straight day, as declines in oil and gold prices drove commodity producers down and Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) led a retreat in retailers.
Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) and ConocoPhillips paced losses in metal and energy companies. Sears, the largest U.S. department- store chain, tumbled 9.7 percent after forecasting a first- quarter loss. Pfizer Inc. (PFE) slid 3.3 percent as sales of its Lipitor cholesterol pill, the world’s best-selling drug last year, missed estimates. MasterCard Inc. (MA) rallied 2.8 percent after earnings topped analysts’ estimates.
The S&P 500 has risen 8.2 percent this year through yesterday. Earnings-per-share beat estimates at about three- quarters of the 336 companies in the S&P 500 that reported results since April 11
Stocks fell even after orders placed with U.S. factories rose 3 percent in March on increasing demand for machinery and computers, topping the median economist estimate.
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