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European stocks retreated from a three-week high as commodity producers declined and companies from Deutsche Lufthansa AG to RSA Insurance Group Plc cut their payouts to shareholders.
Negative data was caused by volume of construction in the EU, as well as data on car sales, which were published yesterday. Sales of passenger cars in the European Union in January 2013 fell to a record low. European automakers association ACEA said on Tuesday, February 18, that the first month of sales decreased by 8.7 percent compared to the same period last year to 885,159 new cars. January is the lowest figure since 1990, when the ACEA began keeping such records.
Positive news came from Greece, where the current account deficit of the balance of payments for 2012. declined by 73% year on year and reached the lowest level since the country's accession to the eurozone. Influence it reduce imports and reduced rates on sovereign debt.
Germany's DAX was down on the record CPI and HICP Germany, which rose by 1.7% y / y (vs. 1.9% previously), in line with the forecast. PPI rose 1.5% to 1.7% falling to 1.2%, and on a monthly basis rose by 0.8% (+0.3% expected).
France's CAC 40 fell, despite the restoration of the French business climate index. French business climate index unexpectedly rose from 87 (revised from 86) to 90 in February, and the HICP fell 0.6% m / m and up 1.4% y / y (vs. 1.5%), not short of projections.
Britain's FTSE 100 rose protocol IFA. Bank of England voted to King expansion QE, but was in a minority (6-3).
National benchmark indexes gained in 10 of the 18 western- European markets. Germany’s DAX declined 0.3 percent, while France’s CAC 40 slid 0.7 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.3 percent.
BHP Billiton slipped 2.4 percent to 2,183.5 pence after the world’s biggest mining company reported a 58 percent decline in first-half profit and appointed Andrew Mackenzie as its new chief executive officer. Mackenzie, who takes over on May 10, was head of its copper unit.
Lufthansa dropped 6.2 percent to 15 euros after Europe’s biggest airline by sales canceled its dividend for 2012. The company made a payout of 25 euro cents a share for 2011.
Lafarge jumped 5.5 percent to 49.27 euros. The world’s biggest cement maker said fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to 856 million euros ($1.1 billion), beating the average analyst estimate of 821.6 million euros.
Credit Agricole SA rose 3.9 percent to 7.61 euros after saying it plans to reduce costs by 650 million euros by 2016. France’s third-largest bank said in a web presentation it expects to cut costs by 650 million euros by 2016 through information-technology resources, real estate and procurement.
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