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European stocks declined for the second time in three days after reports showed that U.S. employers added fewer payrolls than forecast and euro-area unemployment rose to a 15-year high.
Euro-region unemployment rose to a 15-year high and manufacturing contracted for a ninth month, separate reports showed today. The jobless rate in the 17-nation euro area increased to 10.9 percent in March from 10.8 percent in February, the European Union statistics office in Luxembourg said. That’s the highest since April 1997.
In China, a survey released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics indicated that output at small and medium-sized enterprises contracted. That contrasts with a report yesterday that showed Chinese manufacturing expanded last month at the fastest pace in a year.
National benchmark indexes fell in 15 of the 18 western European markets today. France’s CAC 40 rose 0.4 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 slid 0.9 percent and Germany’s DAX (DAX) retreated 0.8 percent. Spain’s IBEX 35 Index dropped 2.6 percent to 6,831.90, its lowest level since March 2009.
A gauge of banks performed the worst of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 after spreads between German 10- year government bonds and Italian and Spanish securities expanded.
Banco Santander SA and UniCredit SpA, the biggest lenders in Spain and Italy, declined 3.3 percent to 4.56 euros and 5.7 percent to 2.84 euros, respectively.
UBS rose 3.7 percent to 11.75 Swiss francs after the lender attracted more funds from wealthy clients in the first quarter than analysts estimated. UBS said its wealth management units attracted 10.9 billion Swiss francs ($12 billion) in net new funds, more than the 8.8 billion-franc estimate of analysts.
British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc climbed 1.5 percent to 701.5 pence. The U.K.’s biggest pay-TV operator said operating profit in the nine months ended March rose 20 percent. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization increased to 1.19 billion pounds ($1.9 billion). Sales jumped 5 percent to 5.08 billion pounds.
Vestas, the biggest wind turbine maker, declined 5.6 percent to 48.15 kroner, the lowest closing price since May 28, 2003. The company said its loss widened 91 percent in the quarter as it expects to spend more money on turbine maintenance after uncovering potential faults in 376 machines.
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