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European stocks slid from an 11-week high as canceled finance ministers’ meeting fueled concern that the region’s leaders may struggle to resolve the debt crisis at a summit tomorrow. Chancellor Angela Merkel and fellow leaders return to Brussels tomorrow for a second summit in four days to discuss Europe’s bailout fund. Policy makers are jousting with banks over the size of losses they take on Greek bonds while deliberating over leveraging the fund after ruling out tapping the European Central Bank’s balance sheet. Stocks extended losses after the U.K. government said a meeting of EU finance ministers scheduled for tomorrow to decide on bank recapitalization was canceled. They pared some of their decline as it was confirmed that summits of the 27 EU leaders and 17 euro-area heads of government will take place in Brussels as planned. The gathering of finance ministers was canceled because the bank-recapitalization issue cannot be decided before other elements of the rescue package, a person familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.
National benchmark indexes fell in 15 of the 18 western European markets today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 declined 0.4 percent and France’s CAC 40 retreated 1.4 percent. Germany’s DAX Index slipped 0.1 percent.
STMicroelectronics tumbled 7.4 percent to 5.06 euros in Milan after saying net revenue will range from $2.15 billion to $2.3 billion. That compared with an average analyst estimate of $2.52 billion, according to Bloomberg data. Forecasts for gross margin, the percentage of sales remaining after costs of production, were also below projections.
Meyer Burger lost 13 percent to 20.55 Swiss francs as Europe’s biggest solar-panel equipment maker said it will temporarily halt output at its MB Wafertec unit in Switzerland amid “high uncertainties” in the solar industry.
Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc retreated 3.4 percent to 3,330 pence, the biggest drop in a month. The maker of Lysol cleaners forecast lower sales and profit at its pharmaceutical division in the fourth quarter because of U.S. health-care reforms and a price increase for Suboxone tablets.
Novartis AG, Europe’s second-biggest pharmaceutical company, lost 3.3 percent to 50.10 francs after saying it plans to eliminate 2,000 jobs in Switzerland and the U.S. and add employees in China and India to offset the effect of drug-price reductions.
BP, the operator of the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico that caused the worst accidental U.S. oil spill last year, climbed 4.4 percent to 457.2 pence as profit beat analysts’ estimates. Earnings adjusted for one-time items and changes in inventory were $5.3 billion, down from $5.5 billion a year earlier. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for income of $5 billion on that basis.
BG Group rose 3.8 percent to 1,378 pence. The U.K.’s third- largest natural-gas producer said third-quarter earnings rose 25 percent as energy-price gains countered output constraints.
Neste Oil Oyj surged 13 percent to 9.06 euros, the biggest gain since 2008. Finland’s only oil refiner was boosted by the improving outlook for its renewable fuels unit.
Swedbank AB, the largest lender in the Baltic states, rose 3.7 percent to 90.05 kronor as it reported a 34 percent jump in third-quarter profit and said costs will decline in 2012 as it adjusts to the European economic slowdown.
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