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European stocks were little changed as investors weighed German data that showed business confidence in Europe’s largest economy increased to the highest level since April 2012. U.S. index futures and Asian shares were also little changed.
In Germany, the Ifo institute’s business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, increased to 109.3 this month from 107.4 in October. That beat economists’ forecast for a gain to 107.7, according to a Bloomberg News survey.
Separate data confirmed a preliminary estimate that showed German economic growth slowed to 0.3 percent in the third quarter, from 0.7 percent in the previous three months. The expansion was driven by domestic demand that offset weaker exports, the report showed.
Novartis gained 1.5 percent to 73.45 Swiss francs. Europe’s biggest drugmaker said it will start a $5-billion share buyback immediately. Novartis also said it will develop new business segments in dermatology, heart failure, respiratory illnesses and cell therapy.
Solarworld advanced 6.1 percent 81.2 euro cents. Germany’s biggest maker of solar panels has agreed on most points with Bosch Solar on a takeover of the company, according to a Wall Street Journal Deutschland report, which cited two unnamed sources close to the talks.
Rhoen-Klinikum fell 2.9 percent to 20.54 euros. B. Braun Melsungen AG, which holds a 10.98 percent stake in the company, asked the court to void the sale of clinics or rule it needs 90 percent shareholder support, Rhoen-Klinikum said in a statement. In September, Helios agreed to pay Rhoen-Klinikum 3.07 billion euros ($4.1 billion) for the German clinics, a deal that would create Europe’s largest chain of private hospitals.
FTSE 100 6,666.94 -14.39 -0.22%
CAC 40 4,259.66 +5.76 +0.14%
DAX 9,182.36 -13.72 -0.15%
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