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European stocks fell for a second day after Ericsson AB and Novartis AG posted earnings that missed analysts’ estimates. The U.K. economy shrank in the fourth quarter more than economists had forecast as manufacturers cut output and services stagnated, leaving Britain on the brink of another recession. Bank of England policy makers voted unanimously this month to keep their target for bond purchases unchanged, with some officials saying more stimulus is “likely” to be needed after the current program is complete.
The Federal Reserve will release rate forecasts for the first time today. Business and political leaders gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for the start of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting.
National benchmark indexes fell in 12 of the 18 western- European markets today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slid 0.5 percent, France’s CAC 40 Index declined 0.3 percent and Germany’s DAX Index added less than 0.1 percent.
Ericsson, the world’s largest maker of wireless networks, plunged 14 percent after reporting fourth-quarter net income that missed analysts’ estimates.
Novartis, Europe’s biggest drugmaker by sales, declined 2.5 percent.
ARM Holdings Plc climbed 3 percent after Apple Inc. posted quarterly profit that more than doubled. ARM is the U.K. owner of chip technology used in Apple’s iPhone and iPad.
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