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European stocks declined as disappointing earnings from companies including Societe Generale SA offset higher-than-forecast euro-area industrial output and U.S. President Barack Obama’s pledge to expand trade with the region.
Euro-area industrial production increased more than economists forecast in December. Factory production in the 17- nation currency bloc rose 0.7 percent from November, when it declined a revised 0.7 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists had forecast a gain of 0.2 percent, according to the median of 41 estimates in a survey. December output fell 2.4 percent from the year-earlier month.
In the U.S., Obama said he would pursue a trade agreement with the EU to expand the world’s largest economic relationship, while at the same time finishing discussions for a Pacific- region accord. Trade and investment between the U.S. and the 27 nations that make up the EU had a value of $4.5 trillion in 2011.
Societe Generale declined 3.7 percent to 31.45 euros. France’s second-largest bank posted a fourth-quarter loss after writing down its stake in derivatives broker Newedge Group and setting aside 300 million euros ($404 million) for legal expenses. The net loss was 476 million euros, compared with a 100 million-euro profit a year earlier, the Paris-based lender said. That was wider than the average estimate for a loss of 203 million euros.
Heineken added 4.1 percent to 54.08 euros, its highest price since at least 1989. Earnings before interest and taxes, excluding some items, rose to 2.9 billion euros from 2.7 billion euros a year earlier, the maker of Amstel lager and Strongbow cider said in a statement. That beat the median estimate for profit of 2.85 billion euros.
FTSE 100 6,324.69 -13.69 -0.22%
CAC 40 3,679.27 -7.31 -0.20%
DAX 7,669.76 +9.57 +0.12%
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