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European stocks were little changed as investors assessed conflicting reports about the progress of U.S. budget negotiations aimed at avoiding automatic tax increases and spending cuts from coming into force next year.
Boehner told reporters in Washington that politicians will continue their discussions “sooner rather than later” to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
Erskine Bowles, the co-chairman of Obama’s 2010 fiscal commission said it was unlikely the president and Congress will reach an agreement by the end of this year. “I’m really worried,” Bowles told reporters in Washington. “I believe the probability is we’re going over the cliff.”
Reid, speaking to reporters in Washington, said that following a Nov. 16 White House meeting, Republicans backed away from their openness to considering new tax revenue as part of the budget.
National benchmark indexes retreated in 11 of the 18 western-European markets. France’s CAC 40 Index gained 0.4 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 added less than 0.1 percent. Germany’s DAX advanced 0.2 percent.
Celesio retreated 2.6 percent to 12.94 euros after Haniel, sold 100 million euros ($129 million) of stock in the drug wholesaler. The closely held German investment company sold about 7.9 million shares at 12.60 euros apiece.
Metro declined 3.7 percent to 21.32 euros as Haniel said it will reduce its stake in Germany’s largest retailer to 30 percent from 34.2 percent within 18 months. Haniel also plans to raise about 150 million euros by selling non-strategic assets to help reduce net borrowing below 2 billion euros.
Nokia Oyj lost 1 percent to 2.54 euros. The mobile-phone maker’s American Depository Receipts lost 5.7 percent in New York yesterday after Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reported that Apple Inc.’s iPhone more than doubled its U.S. market share to 48 percent over the 12-week period ended Oct. 28.
Raiffeisen Bank International AG retreated 5 percent to 31.51 euros after eastern Europe’s second-biggest lender reported third-quarter net income of 141 million euros. That missed the average analyst estimate of 148 million euros.
Nestle climbed 1.2 percent to 60.60 francs after forming a joint venture with Chi-Med to develop gastro-intestinal treatments based on traditional Chinese medicines. Nestle Health Science and Chi-Med will each own half of Nutrition Science Partners Ltd., the companies said in a statement today.
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