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European stocks dropped, paring a weekly gain, as investors weighed better-than-estimated U.S. jobs data against the probability of an easing in Federal Reserve stimulus sooner than estimated.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.2 percent to 322.52 at 4:30 p.m. in London, after earlier losing as much as 1.2 percent. The measure climbed 0.3 percent this week, for its longest streak of weekly gains this year.
A U.S. Commerce Department report yesterday showed that the world’s largest economy grew at a better-than-estimated 2.8 percent annual rate in the third quarter. Data today showed October payrolls increased more than forecast. The addition of 204,000 workers topped the median forecast that called for a 126,000 advance.
National benchmark indexes retreated in 10 of the 18 western European markets today.
FTSE 100 6,708.42 +11.20 +0.17% CAC 40 4,260.44 -20.55 -0.48% DAX 9,078.28 -2.75 -0.03%
In Europe, Exane BNP Paribas SA downgraded the region’s equities to neutral from overweight. Stock valuations have become a constraint for investment, given risks to economic growth and a potential tapering of Fed stimulus, the brokerage said. The Stoxx 600 traded at 15 times the projected earnings of its constituents on Nov. 6, the highest level since early 2009.
France’s long-term foreign and local-currency credit rating was lowered one step to AA from AA+ by Standard & Poor’s, which said slower growth will restrict the government’s ability to improve public finances. The outlook for the rating is stable, the ratings company said.
Total fell 1.3 percent to 43.75 euros. Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA is selling a 0.3 percent stake in the company for about 360 million euros ($483 million), according to terms of the deal.
Finmeccanica SpA slumped 5.5 percent to 5.13 euros, for its biggest decrease since April. The company said it won’t meet its 2013 target for earnings before interest, taxes and amortization. Profit will be 5 percent to 10 percent lower than its 1 billion-euro goal, the company said.
Rheinmetall AG tumbled 6 percent to 43.30 euros, for its biggest loss since July. The company said military-budget cuts by governments led to a loss at its defense division, which coupled with administrative expenses, wiped out profit from its car-components unit in the nine months ended September.
Cie. Financiere Richemont SA retreated 0.9 percent to 92.15 Swiss francs after posting first-half operating profit that missed analysts’ estimates. The owner of the Cartier brand said operating profit dropped to 1.37 billion euros in the six months through September. Analysts survey forecast 1.4 billion euros.
Telecom Italia SpA (TIT) retreated 5.4 percent to 68 euro cents after unveiling plans to sell its Argentine business and assets including wireless towers in Italy and Brazil. The phone company also completed a sale of mandatory convertible bonds.
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