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20.08.2012 17:33

European stocks close:

European (SXXP) stocks fell as Germany’s Bundesbank criticized a European Central Bank plan to lower the region’s sovereign yields through bond purchases, highlighting the rift among policy makers over ways to end the debt crisis.

Lonmin Plc (LMI) slid 4.6 percent on reports it may raise $1 billion in a rights issue after operations at its biggest mine were halted amid deadly violence, the Sunday Times reported. Bankia (BKIA) SA fell 4.6 percent. Heineken NV (HEIA) climbed 1.6 percent after it raised its offer for Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd. Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA led gainers, jumping 5.1 percent.

The Stoxx 600 dropped 0.5 percent to 271.50 at the close of trading.

National benchmark indexes fell in 16 of the 18 western European markets.

FTSE 100 5,824.37 -28.05 -0.48% CAC 40 3,480.58 -7.80 -0.22% DAX 7,033.68 -7.20 -0.10%

Lonmin lost 4.6 percent to 610 pence, dropping for a sixth day. The world’s third-biggest platinum miner may raise $1 billion in a rights issue as soon as next month after operations at its biggest mine were halted amid deadly violence citing people close to the situation it didn’t name.

Xstrata Plc (XTA), which owns a 25 percent stake in Lonmin, has signaled that it’s ready to cover its part of the deal, the newspaper said. Xstrata fell 3.4 percent to 907.5 pence. Separately, Deutsche Bank downgraded Lonmin shares to sell from neutral.

Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC), a producer of metals in Kazakhstan, fell 3.4 percent to 357 pence. The stock was cut to neutral from outperform at Credit Suisse Group AG.

Credit Agricole SA (ACA) dropped 4.9 percent to 4.10 euros as a gauge of bank shares led declines on the Stoxx 600.

Michael Page International Plc (MPI), a U.K. recruitment company, lost 3.2 percent to 371.1 pence. The stock was cut to sell from neutral at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Heineken gained 1.6 percent to 43.84 euros. The world’s third-largest brewer raised its offer for a controlling stake in Asia Pacific Breweries to S$5.6 billion ($4.5 billion).

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena jumped 5.1 percent to 22.7 euro cents, paring gains of as much as 17 percent. The world’s oldest bank may become the first Italian lender since the 1990s to have the government as a shareholder as the company weighs further goodwill writedowns.

Home Retail Group Plc (HOME), the owner of Argos stores, gained 3.6 percent to 96.3 pence. The shares were upgraded to hold from sell at Deutsche Bank.

Amlin Plc (AML) climbed 2.1 percent to 389.1 pence. The insurer reported a first-half pre-tax profit of 184.5 million pounds ($289 million) compared with a 192.3 million pound loss in the same period last year.

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