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European stocks declined as investors awaited reports on U.S. retail and housing to gauge the health of the world’s biggest economy before minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting. U.S. index futures were little changed, while Asian shares retreated.
In the U.S., a report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington may show retail sales rose 0.1 percent in October, having dropped 0.1 percent a month earlier, economists forecast in a Bloomberg survey. A separate release will probably show sales of previously owned homes increased to a 5.14 million annual pace, from a 5.29 million rate a month earlier.
The Federal Reserve will release minutes of its October policy meeting after European markets close today. The document will reveal more details on the central bank’s decision to maintain its pace of asset purchases at $85 billion a month. Fed policy makers will probably trim the bond-buying to $70 billion at their March 18-19 meeting, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said late yesterday the central bank will probably maintain its target interest rate long after ending its monthly bond purchases.
Diageo Plc lost 1.5 percent to 1,998.5 pence after Menezes told journalists yesterday he expects the “uncertain” global economy to continue to affect sales growth for the world’s biggest distiller.
Societe Television Francaise 1 rose 6.4 percent to 14.18 euros after France beat Ukraine to advance to the next year’s soccer World Cup. TF1 yesterday fell as much as 1.3 percent in intraday trading as Natixis wrote in a note that the probability of the French national team qualifying for the tournament was “very low.”
FTSE 100 6,666.86 -31.15 -0.47%
CAC 40 4,255.93 -16.36 -0.38%
DAX 9,172.1 -21.19 -0.23%
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