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European stocks fell from their highest level in five weeks as the Federal Reserve cut its growth forecast for the U.S. economy and a survey indicated China’s manufacturing industry may shrink for an eighth month.
The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee yesterday extended its Operation Twist program, which aims to reduce borrowing costs. The Fed will swap $267 billion of short-term securities with longer-term debt through the end of 2012.
Euro-area services and manufacturing output contracted for a fifth month in June, suggesting the economy may fail to grow in the current quarter. A composite index based on a survey of purchasing managers in both industries in the 17-nation euro area held at 46, the same reading as in May, London-based Markit Economics said today. Spain sold more debt than planned just three days after the country’s 10-year bond yields hit a euro-era record. The nation sold 2.2 billion euros ($2.8 billion) of two-, three- and five- year securities today, compared with a maximum target of 2 billion euros set for the auction.
National benchmark indexes dropped in 16 of the 18 western- European markets. France’s CAC 40 decreased 0.4 percent. Germany’s DAX sank 0.8 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 slid 1 percent.
A gauge of European mining companies dropped for the first time in a week as a global commodity benchmark declined to its lowest level since 2010. BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, fell 3 percent to 1,819 pence. Anglo American lost 5.2 percent to 2,101 pence.
Invensys slumped 14 percent to 220 pence, its biggest decline since Jan. 13, after the British software and meters maker said it’s no longer in talks with Emerson Electric Co. or other potential suitors.
Air France-KLM Group rallied 5.5 percent to 3.63 euros, its highest price in more than a month, after announcing a plan to eliminate more than 5,000 jobs, equivalent to 10 percent of posts at the Air France unit.
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