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European stocks declined, with the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index posting its longest losing streak since August, as Germany failed to attract sufficient bids at an auction of benchmark 10-year bunds. Germany failed to reach its maximum sales target of 6 billion euros ($8 billion) at an auction of securities due in January 2022. Total bids amounted to 3.889 billion euros, falling short by 35 percent, according to data from the Bundesbank. The securities were sold at a yield of 1.98 percent.
The European Central Bank bought Italian government bonds, according to three people with knowledge of the transactions, who declined to be identified because the trades are confidential. A spokesman for the ECB in Frankfurt declined to comment today on asset purchases.
A preliminary reading of a euro-area composite index from a survey of purchasing managers in manufacturing and services rose to 47.2 in November from 46.5 in October, London-based Markit Economics said today.
National benchmark indexes fell in 17 of the 18 western- European markets. France’s CAC 40 Index slipped 1.7 percent. Germany’s DAX Index dropped 1.4 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slid 1.3 percent.
Rio Tinto slipped 2.3 percent to 2,985.5 pence and BHP Billiton Ltd. declined 1.4 percent to 1,741 pence. The world’s two largest mining companies (BLT) and other commodity producers face A$11 billion ($10.7 billion) of extra charges in the first three years of Australia’s tax on iron-ore and coal profits.
Logica fell 4.2 percent to 67.6 pence after the stock was cut to “underperform” from “hold” at Jefferies and Co.
Halfords Group Plc dropped 5.1 percent to 314.1 pence. The shares were cut to “sell” from “neutral” at UBS, which cited the company’s limited strategic options for growth.
Dexia jumped 13 percent to 26.9 euro cents. Luxembourg’s Finance Minister Luc Frieden said that talks about the government-backed funding of the remaining assets do not face “insurmountable difficulties.”
Tui Travel Plc, Europe’s largest tour operator, rallied 13 percent to 154 pence, its biggest advance since October 2008, as analysts said concern over the future of rival Thomas Cook Group Plc may present an opportunity to gain market share.
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