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European stocks dropped to their lowest level in a month as investors sold shares in companies from AP Moeller-Maersk (MAERSKB) A/S to Valeo SA, while Russia and Ukraine continued their standoff over the region of Crimea. U.S. index futures and Asian shares also fell.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.9 percent to 328.57 at 10:06 a.m. in London. The gauge has dropped 3 percent from its high on Feb. 25 as Russian President Vladimir Putin obtained parliamentary approval to use military force in Ukraine.
Ukraine says Russia has as many as 19,000 Russian troops in the Crimea region. The Crimean parliament has called a referendum on March 16 to decide whether to leave Ukraine and join Russia.
Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, meets U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington today. Yatsenyuk addresses the United Nations Security Council in New York tomorrow. The Russian Foreign Ministry said yesterday that U.S. aid to the acting government in Kiev would violate American law, because the departure of Viktor Yanukovych last month constituted a coup.
A Eurostat report showed that industrial production in the 18-nation euro zone dropped 0.2 percent in January. The average analyst forecast had called for an increase of 0.5 percent. The agency revised the decline in December to 0.4 percent.
Maersk declined 2.6 percent to 63,250 kroner after the estate of the shipping company’s former chairman sold a 1.4 percent stake. Maersk McKinney-Moller died in April 2012. His estate will use the proceeds of 3.55 billion kroner ($659 million) to pay taxes.
Valeo lost 2.1 percent to 99.07 euros after Bpifrance Financement SA sold about 1.98 million shares in France’s second-biggest auto-parts maker to institutional investors for 200 million euros ($277 million), according to a statement.
Tod’s dropped 5.2 percent to 94.05 euros after the Italian luxury-goods maker reported net income of 133.8 million euros for 2013. That missed the 138 million-euro average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
G4S fell 3.8 percent to 236.1 pence. Underlying earnings fell to 14.7 pence a share in 2013 from 15.8 pence in 2012, missing the 16.2 pence average of forecasts compiled by Bloomberg. The world’s biggest provider of security services booked charges of 386 million pounds ($641 million) last year from restructuring and reviews of its contracts, assets and liabilities. The U.K.’s Justice Ministry announced an investigation last May into G4S’s billings under contracts for electronic monitoring that it holds with the department.
FTSE 100 6,616.53 -68.99 -1.03%
CAC 40 4,279.75 -69.97 -1.61%
DAX 9,168.54 -139.25 -1.50%
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