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European stocks fell, paring a weekly gain for the benchmark index, before a report that may show American retail sales stagnated and as euro-area finance ministers meet in Dublin. U.S. index futures also dropped, while Asian shares were little changed.
In the euro area, finance ministers will try to reach an agreement on extending rescue-loan maturities for Ireland and Portugal at their meeting in Dublin, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said.
Irish and Portuguese rescue programs face uncertainty from events like the depositor losses imposed in Cyprus and would benefit from a strong signal of European Union support, Eurogroup Working Group President Thomas Wieser said.
Separately, Cyprus will ask for an increase in the 10 billion-euro ($13 billion) loan from the European Union, a government official said.
Euro-area industrial production expanded more than economists forecast in February, a report showed. Output in the 17-nation economy rose 0.4 percent from January, when it dropped a 0.6 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said. That beat the 0.2 percent increase projected by economists in a Bloomberg News survey.
Cap Gemini, France’s biggest computer-services company, dropped 3.7 percent to 34.40 euros, the biggest decline since March 21. Infosys Ltd., India’s second-largest software-services exporter, said it expects revenue to increase 6 percent to 10 percent in the year ending March 2014. Analysts estimated sales growth of 12.7 percent, based on the average of 66 predictions compiled by Bloomberg.
Software AG fell 3.1 percent to 27.36 euros.
Croda, the world’s second-largest maker of cosmetic ingredients, slid 3.5 percent to 2,621 pence. UBS downgraded the shares to sell from neutral, saying the company has failed to deliver consistent earnings growth.
FTSE 100 6,385.38 -30.76 -0.48%
CAC 40 3,747.78 -27.88 -0.74%
DAX 7,777.48 -94.15 -1.20%
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