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European stocks were little changed near a 19-month high as investors awaited developments in U.S. negotiations to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) increased less than 0.1 percent to 281.83 at 4:38 p.m. in London, having swung between gains and losses at least 20 times today.
National benchmark indexes rose in 12 of the 18 western European markets.
FTSE 100 5,958.34 -3.25 -0.05% CAC 40 3,666.73 +2.14 +0.06% DAX 7,672.1 +3.60 +0.05%
The U.S. economy grew at a 3.1 percent annual rate in the third quarter, more than previously reported, reflecting the first gain in state and local government spending in three years, more consumer purchases and a smaller trade gap, according to a report today.
SBM Offshore climbed 18 percent to 10.88 euros, the biggest jump since at least October 1989, as the world’s largest maker of floating oil and gas output platforms sought to settle a dispute with Talisman and wrote off the value of a related operation. The company will sell a 9.95 percent stake to HAL Investments BV for $193 million to restore its balance sheet and meet banking covenants.
UBS (UBSN) slipped 1.3 percent to 15.01 Swiss francs. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has started an investigation to see if there was wrongdoing by the bank in its submission of data for setting the Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate, according to a statement from the de-facto central bank.
Cap Gemini SA (CAP), a French computer-services company, slid 2.8 percent to 33.53 euros. Accenture Plc, the world’s second- largest technology-consulting company, reported a decline in first-quarter revenue from its consulting business.
Areva SA (AREVA) lost 4.3 percent to 12.84 euros. The maker of nuclear reactors, offshore wind turbines and biomass plants cut its earnings forecast for 2013, citing financing delays at unspecified renewable energy projects carried out by clients.
Immofinanz AG (IIA) slid 4.6 percent to 3.26 euros. The Austrian real-estate company said first-half net income declined to 103.3 million euros from 265.1 million euros a year ago.
Carnival Corp. (CCL), the world’s largest cruise-line operator, tumbled 6.5 percent to 2,380 pence for the worst performance on the Stoxx 600. The company said it sees 2013 adjusted earnings per share in the range of $2.20 to $2.40, lower than the estimate of $2.46.
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