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European stocks declined from a 22- month high as investors awaited U.S. jobs data, and Federal Reserve minutes showed policy makers debated ending their bond- purchase program.
The Federal Open Market Committee minutes, released yesterday in Washington, showed a split on how long the bond purchases should last. Participants who provided estimates were “approximately evenly divided” between those who said it would be appropriate to end the purchases around mid-2013 and those in favor of continuing beyond that time.
Fresnillo slid 5.6 percent to 1,779 pence after UBS downgraded the shares to neutral from buy, citing recent gains in the stock which mean it has outperformed silver and its peers. The price of the metal today fell to its lowest since August.
Randgold Resources, a gold producer in West Africa, lost 3.3 percent to 6,025 pence as the price of metal dropped. A gauge of commodity-company shares fell 1.6 percent, for the worst performance of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600.
Marks & Spencer Group Plc, the U.K.’s biggest clothing retailer, dropped 3 percent to 376.7 pence. Nomura Holdings Inc. lowered its 2013 pre-tax estimates for the retailer to 666 million pounds ($1.07 billion) from 694 million pounds, citing a fall in general merchandise sales.
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