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Most European stocks declined as earnings reports from Inditex SA to Enel (ENEL) SpA offset an increase in U.S. retail sales by the most in five months.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) slipped less than 0.1 percent to 295.32, as four shares retreated for every three that advanced.
A report from the European Union’s statistics office earlier today showed industrial production in the euro area fell 0.4 percent in January, adding to signs that the region’s recession extended into the first quarter. The median economist forecast was for a 0.1 percent decline.
National benchmark indexes declined in 10 of the 18 markets in western Europe.
FTSE 100 6,481.5 -29.12 -0.45% CAC 40 3,836.04 -3.93 -0.10% DAX 7,970.91 +4.79 +0.06%
Inditex (ITX) dropped 2.6 percent to 105.65 euros in Madrid. The retailer reported a 12 percent decline in net income to 705 million euros in the three months through January. The average of analyst forecasts called for 716 million euros.
Enel fell 6 percent to 2.61 euros, the lowest price since August. The utility reported 2012 net income to 865 million euros and said earnings won’t recover until 2017 as taxes and weakening power demand in its biggest markets crimp growth.
Commerzbank AG tumbled 9.7 percent to 1.26 euros, the sharpest decrease in 15 months, after Germany’s second-biggest lender announced a 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion) share sale to repay investments by a German government fund and Allianz SE.
ASM International NV lost 10 percent to 27.85 euros, the biggest drop since November 2008. The maker of semiconductor equipment announced plans to sell a stake of as much as 12 percent in ASM Pacific Technology Ltd. in an effort to increase the value of its combined businesses.
Prudential advanced 9.3 percent to 1,125 pence, its highest price since January 2000, after the biggest U.K. insurer by market value raised its 2012 dividend 16 percent to 29.19 pence a share. The company reported a 25 percent increase in operating profit to 2.53 billion pounds in 2012, beating the average analyst estimate of 2.32 billion pounds.
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