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European stocks dropped for a third day. Greece’s Prime Minister Lucas Papademos met the leaders of the three political parties that support his government in Athens today. He held an unscheduled meeting late last night with the troika -- the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- to haggle over the terms needed to secure further aid.
National benchmark indexes climbed in 10 of the 18 western- European (SXXP) markets today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell 0.2 percent. France’s CAC 40 Index and Germany’s DAX Index decreased 0.1 percent.
BHP Billiton retreated 2.3 percent to 2,130 pence. The world’s biggest mining company reported a 5.5 percent drop in first-half profit, the first decline since 2009, as rising costs and lower output and prices cut its earnings from base metals by half.
Vestas plunged 14 percent to 57.50 kroner for the largest slump on the Stoxx 600. The world’s biggest wind-turbine maker reported an annual loss of 166 million euros ($220 million), according to its annual report.
Banco Espirito Santo SA surged 13 percent to 1.67 euros, while Banco Comercial Portugues SA rose 5.1 percent to 18.5 euro cents.
UniCredit SpA, Italy’s biggest lender, added 2.2 percent to 4.48 euros. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, the country’s second-largest bank, gained 3 percent to 1.60 euros.
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