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26.04.2013 17:20

European stock close:

European stocks fell, paring their biggest weekly rally in five months, as companies from PPR (PP) SA to Total SA posted financial results that disappointed investors, while the U.S. economy grew at a slower-than-expected pace.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.4 percent to 295.68 at 4:30 p.m. in London, paring an earlier retreat of as much as 0.9 percent. The gauge has still gained 3.7 percent this week, its biggest rally since November 2012, as investors speculated that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates. The equity benchmark has risen 5.7 percent this year.

National benchmark indexes retreated in 15 of the 17 western-European markets that opened today.

FTSE 100 6,426.42 -16.17 -0.25% CAC 40 3,810.05 -30.42 -0.79% DAX 7,814.76 -18.10 -0.23%

A Commerce Department report in Washington showed that the U.S. economy grew at a slower pace in the first quarter than estimated. Gross domestic product rose at a 2.5 percent annualized rate, compared with the 3 percent economists forecast. The world's largest economy expanded 0.4 percent in the final three months of 2012.

PPR slumped 6.8 percent to 166.40 euros after posting first-quarter sales from continuing operations that climbed 1 percent to 2.37 billion euros ($3.1 billion). That missed the 2.41 billion-euro average analyst estimate. PPR said revenue at its sports and lifestyle businesses dropped, especially in western Europe.

Total declined 1.9 percent to 37.38 euros as the oil company said earnings slid 7 percent because of losses from a canceled Canadian oil-sands project and lower output. Profit (FP) excluding changes in inventories fell to 2.9 billion euros in the first quarter, in line with the 2.92 billion-euro average estimate. Total made a 3.1 billion-euro profit a year earlier.

Ziggo NV (ZIGGO) slid 4.2 percent to 26.68 euros. Warburg Pincus LLC and Cinven Ltd. sold their remaining 17 percent in the Dutch cable company, according to a statement. The two shareholders sold the securities for 25.75 euros apiece, which was a 7.5 percent discount to yesterday's closing price.

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI) fell 2.8 percent to 71.90 euros, contributing the most to the Stoxx 600's slide. The brewer said it will shortly start its tender offer for the Grupo Modelo SAB shares that it does not already own. Separately, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. added the stock to its conviction sell list.

DNB ASA (DNB) advanced 5.2 percent to 92.50 kroner after Norway's biggest bank said first-quarter net income amounted to 3.18 billion kroner ($543 million), exceeding the 2.76 billion kroner that analysts had estimated.

National Bank of Greece SA surged 8.2 percent to 76.9 euro cents. The lender plans to raise 12 percent of its recapitalization needs from private investors, up from a previous target of 10 percent.

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