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European stocks declined, after their biggest weekly gain since April, as investor uncertainty about this week’s U.S. vote on possible air strikes against Syria outweighed better-than-expected Chinese export data. U.S futures and Asian shares advanced.
China’s exports increased more in August than forecast and inflation stayed below a government target. Overseas shipments rose 7.2 percent from a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said in Beijing yesterday. That beat the 5.5 percent median estimate of analysts surveyed by News. Consumer prices rose 2.6 percent, the statistics bureau said today.
Obama this week will seek to persuade a skeptical Congress and a reluctant American public to support air strikes against Syria. He failed to win backing from foreign leaders at last week’s Group of 20 summit for military action in response to a chemical weapons attack that his administration said killed more than 1,400 people.
EON SE and RWE AG, Germany’s two biggest utilities, fell 2.2 percent to 12.42 euros and 2.7 percent to 22.64 euros, respectively. Bank of America Corp. downgraded EON’s shares to underperform, similar to a sell rating, from neutral, citing “misplaced optimism” and the likelihood of lower power prices.
Munich Re jumped 3.2 percent to 139.35 euros. Bank of America upgraded the world’s biggest reinsurer from neutral to buy, citing the recent overdone share-price weakness, its strong capital position and lower exposure to catastrophe reinsurance relative with its peers. Shares have lost 12 percent since reaching their highest price in more than 10 years on April 25.
Vallourec rose 3.8 percent to 47.87 euros after Kepler Cheuvreux upgraded the shares to buy from hold, citing significant price hikes by its U.S. competitors.
Christian Dior SA advanced 3.4 percent to 136.55 euros as the French luxury goods maker announced that it has entered into a forward purchase agreement with an authorized financial intermediary to buy a maximum 550,000 of its own shares.
FTSE 100 6,520.38 -26.95 -0.41 %
CAC 40 4,033.37 -15.82 -0.39 %
DAX 8,274.91 -0.76 -0.01 %
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