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European stocks declined for a fourth day as reports showed that orders to U.S. factories unexpectedly fell in April and China’s services-industry growth weakened in May.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said European leaders should reinforce efforts to protect euro-area lenders, increasing pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to back new ideas to resolve the debt crisis.
French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici will travel to Brussels today to meet with European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn and EU Financial Services Commissioner Michel Barnier. Moscovici has said that aid for troubled banks should come through the European Stability Mechanism rather than through governments.
National benchmark indexes dropped in nine the 15 western European markets that were open today. Germany’s DAX fell 1.2 percent, while France’s CAC 40 added 0.1 percent
Volkswagen and Daimler dropped 3.2 percent to 119.75 euros and 1.9 percent to 34.85 euros, respectively, as a gauge of European carmakers was the worst performer of the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600.
Aker Solutions declined 3 percent to 75.05 kroner, its lowest since Jan. 31.
Spanish and Italian banks paced gains, as a gauge of European lenders posted the best performance on the Stoxx 600. UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaolo each rallied 4.5 percent to 2.61 euros and 5.8 percent to 1.06 euros, respectively. Banco Santander SA jumped 4.9 percent to 4.53 euros. Banco BPI SA rallied for the fifth day, its longest stretch of gains since July 2011.
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