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22.08.2012 17:30

European stocks close:


European stocks slid the most in almost three weeks as Japan reported a wider-than-expected trade deficit and investors awaited the outcome of meetings between the leaders of countries in the euro area.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) slid 1.7 percent after the world’s biggest mining company put $68 billion of projects on hold.

Heineken NV (HEIA), which last week increased its offer to gain control of Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd., lost 1.1 percent after posting first-half earnings that missed analysts’ estimates because of higher costs.

Man Group Plc (EMG) sank 4.4 percent as the hedge-fund manager reported a drop in assets at its flagship fund.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) declined 1.2 percent to 269.27 at the close, its biggest retreat since Aug. 2.

National benchmark indexes declined in every western-European market.

FTSE 100 5,774.2 -83.32 -1.42% CAC 40 3,461.65 -51.63 -1.47% DAX 7,017.75 -71.57 -1.01%  

BHP Billiton slid 1.7 percent to 1,947 pence after saying that it will not approve any further spending on major projects this fiscal year. The commodity producer also posted net income of $5.5 billion for the six months ended June 30, compared with $13.1 billion a year earlier, according to a calculation.

Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third-biggest mining company, declined 2.7 percent to 2,979.5 pence, as a gauge of miners dropped the most of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600.

Anglo American Plc (AAL) slid 3.7 percent to 1,910 pence after JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded the shares to underweight from neutral, meaning that investors should sell the holdings. The brokerage said that Anglo American was the most expensive large mining company when valued on its earnings.

Heineken slipped 1.1 percent to 44 euros after the world’s third-largest brewer said costs to produce its beer will climb 8 percent this year, rather than the 6 percent increase that it had forecast. The company also posted earnings before interest and taxes, excluding some items, of 1.27 billion euros ($1.6 billion). That compared with the 1.31 billion-euro average estimate for profit on that basis survey of analysts. The figure represents a so-called organic decrease of 5.5 percent, compared with the median estimate of 9 analysts for a 0.5 percent increase.

Man declined 4.4 percent to 76.8 pence after the fund manager said the net asset value of its Man AHL Diversified fund fell 1.4 percent last week.

Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS) slumped 6.4 percent to 31.77 kroner after the Aarhus, Denmark-based wind-turbine maker said it will cut another 1,400 jobs to lower costs by more than 250 million euros. The company also reiterated full-year targets for revenue of 6.5 billion euros to 8 billion euros and a margin before interest and taxes of zero to 4 percent.


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