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European stocks fell, snapping two days of gains, before a Federal Reserve meeting next week that may give clues on when it will reduce its stimulus.
The Federal Open Market Committee will probably start slowing its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases at its Dec. 17-18 meeting, according to 34 percent of economists surveyed Dec. 6 by Bloomberg, an increase from 17 percent in a Nov. 8 survey. The central bank has said it may reduce its stimulus if the economy improves as forecast.
Industrial production in the U.K. increased 0.4 percent in October from the previous month, the Office for National Statistics said. It climbed 0.9 percent in September. The October gain matched economists’ estimates.
National benchmark indexes dropped in 12 of the 18 western European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 lost 0.6 percent, while France’s CAC 40 retreated 1 percent and Germany’s DAX dropped 0.9 percent.
Gauges of auto companies and technology shares posted the biggest declines among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600. PSA Peugeot Citroen lost 5.1 percent to 11.61 euros and Nokia Oyj dropped 2.4 percent to 5.77 euros.
Vopak slipped 2.1 percent to 41.74 euros after saying it probably won’t reach its goal of 1 billion euros ($1.37 billion) in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2016, citing a lack of clarity on the timing of new, profitable projects. The world’s biggest chemical- and oil-storage company forecasts 2013 Ebitda excluding one-time items of about 750 million euros.
Victrex surged 4.2 percent to 1,631 pence. The U.K. maker of heat-resistant plastics for auto, energy and health-care companies proposed a final dividend of 32.65 pence, surpassing the Bloomberg Dividend forecast of 31 pence. Victrex said in a preliminary report full-year revenue rose to 221.9 million pounds ($364.5 million), compared with the average analyst estimate of 221.8 million pounds.
CGG climbed 2.3 percent to 14.67 euros. Raymond James Financial Inc. raised its recommendation on the world’s biggest seismic surveyor of oilfields to outperform, similar to buy, from market perform. The brokerage cited marine contracts that CGG won and the potential for client works in Brazil.
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