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29.01.2014 18:00

European stock close

European stocks fell, as banks and automakers declined, while the Turkish central bank’s interest rate increases failed to support emerging-market currencies.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.6 percent to 322.3 at 4:30 p.m. in London, paring earlier losses of as much as 1.5 percent. The gauge had jumped as much as 1.2 percent after Turkey’s central bank raised interest rates.

“You see volatile equity markets today because of vulnerable emerging-market currencies,” said Markus Wallner, an equity strategist at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “These events are reigniting fears in equity markets as a rise in interest rates by Turkey’s central bank does not appear to have helped. As we see with the Turkish lira today, this is a continuing problem which has not been solved yet.”

National benchmark gauges declined in 16 of the 18 western-European markets.

FTSE 100 6,544.28 -28.05 -0.43% CAC 40 4,156.98 -28.31 -0.68% DAX 9,336.73 -70.18 -0.75%

The Federal Reserve will conclude its final two-day monetary-policy meeting under Chairman Ben S. Bernanke today. He leaves his post on Jan. 31. The central bank will probably reduce its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion, followed by further increments of the same amount at the next five meetings before announcing an end to the program no later than December, according survey this month.

Fiat slid 4.8 percent to 7.19 euros. The Turin-based carmaker said fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes and one-time items rose 5 percent to 931 million euros ($1.27 billion) from 887 million euros a year earlier. That missed the 1.12 billion-euro average of analyst estimates.

Mulberry tumbled 28 percent to 645 pence. The British luxury-handbag maker also said full-year wholesale sales will fall by about 10 percent because of order cancellations from Korean customers.

J Sainsbury Plc lost 2.5 percent to 347.9 pence after announcing that Justin King will step down as chief executive officer in July after a decade in the role. Commercial Director Mike Coupe will succeed him as head of the U.K.’s third-biggest supermarket company.

Anglo American, which owns Anglo American Platinum Ltd., advanced 5.9 percent to 1,422.5 pence. The owner of the world’s biggest platinum mine said fourth-quarter production of the metal rose 25 percent as it recovered from labor disruptions. It also posted a 25 percent increase in output at its Kumba Iron Ore unit and a 24 percent rise in copper production.

Arkema SA (AKE) increased 3.7 percent to 80.08 euros. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded the French chemicals maker to conviction buy from neutral, citing the possibility of merger and acquisition activity in the industry because of high levels of cash, and the company’s exposure to an economic recovery in Europe.

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