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European stocks fell to a three- week low, led by a selloff in banks, as the leader of Italy’s Democratic Party ruled out the possibility that rival politicians will agree on a broad coalition government.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) slid 0.4 percent to 292.5 at 4:30 p.m. in London, after earlier rallying as much as 0.4 percent and sliding as much as 1 percent. The gauge climbed in afternoon trading yesterday as better-than-estimated U.S. data bolstered confidence in the world’s largest economy.
National benchmark indexes retreated in all 18 western- European markets today.
FTSE 100 6,385.36 -14.01 -0.22% CAC 40 3,712 -36.64 -0.98% DAX 7,792.41 -87.26 -1.11%
Monte Paschi, the world’s oldest lender, dropped 4.3 percent to 18.5 euro cents in Milan, Banco Popolare slid 1.3 percent to 97.8 cents.
TDC lost 1.6 percent to 44.69 kroner after NTC Holding sold a 2.49 billion-kroner ($427 million) stake in Denmark’s largest phone company. UBS AG placed the 56.3 million shares via an accelerated bookbuild at 44.27 kroner apiece. NTC also sold a 15 percent stake in TDC in February.
Safran (SAF) declined 1.2 percent to 35.08 euros as France’s finance ministry sold 449 million euros ($574 million) of shares in Europe’s second-biggest maker of aircraft engines.
Belgacom SA slid 2.5 percent to 19.11 euros as Belgian newspaper De Tijd reported the government has considered selling stakes in some of its assets to help keep the national debt below 100 percent of gross domestic product. The state may sell a 3.5 percent stake in the mobile-phone operator as well as its holdings in BNP Paribas SA.
Mediaset SpA (MS) jumped 5.3 percent to 1.63 euros even as the Italian broadcaster controlled by Berlusconi reported a full- year net loss and scrapped its dividend for the first time in its history. The company posted sales of 3.72 billion euros, exceeding the average analyst estimate.
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