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European stocks fell for a second day, paring their biggest monthly advance since July, as companies from AstraZeneca Plc to Banco Santander SA slid after reporting earnings.
In general, regional statistics published mixed. Greek retail sales rebounded from -18.1% to -16.8% in November (y / y), PPI Italy eased from 2.0% to 1.8% (vs. 1.9%), and the current account balance Spain increased from € 0.865 billion to € 1.780 billion previously unemployment rate in Greece has fallen from 6.9% to 6.8% in January. Unemployment in Germany fell by 16 thousand to 8 thousand on projections. The December figure was revised up from +3 to -2 thousand
Retail sales in Germany, which are usually quite volatile index in December were worse than expected. In real terms, they fell from the previous month and compared with the same period last year. Retail sales adjusted for seasonal variations, the number of working days and inflation in December fell by 1.7% compared with November.
AstraZeneca sank 4.9 percent to 2,999 pence, its biggest selloff in nine months, after forecasting falling profit because of increased competition from generic medicines. Sales will decline by a “mid- to high-single digit percentage” at constant exchange rates in 2013, compared with the average analyst projection of a 3 percent slide. The company also said earnings fell for a fourth straight quarter.
Santander declined 2.6 percent to 6.23 euros as Spain’s largest lender set aside money for further loan losses in its home market. The bank reported fourth-quarter profit of 401 million euros ($544 million), missing the 801.6 million-euro average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed.
Shell fell 1.2 percent to 2,278.5 pence after Europe’s biggest oil company reported fourth-quarter profit, excluding one-off items and inventory changes, of $5.6 billion. That missed the $6.2 billion average analyst estimate in a survey. Net income advanced 3 percent to $6.7 billion.
FTSE 100 6,290.84 -32.27 -0.51%
CAC 40 3,737.25 -28.27 -0.75%
DAX 7,774.04 -37.27 -0.48%
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