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European stocks declined after reports that showed U.S. retail sales and initial jobless claims missed economists’ forecasts outweighed lower borrowing costs at Spanish and Italian debt auctions. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.2 percent to 249.50 at the close in London. The gauge had earlier advanced as much as 0.9 percent after Spain and Italy sold debt, raising their targeted amounts at lower yields. Tesco Plc dropped 16 percent, leading retail shares lower, after the U.K.’s largest supermarket chain said it was “disappointed” with holiday sales.
FTSE 100 5,662 -8.40 -0.15%, CAC 40 3,200 -4.85 -0.15%, Xetra DAX 6,179 +26.87 +0.44%
UniCredit (UCG) SpA climbed 14 percent to 2.90 euros. The stock was raised to “buy” from “neutral” at Citigroup Inc., which said the stock would suit a high-risk investment strategy as it offers significant “upside potential.”
Sulzer jumped 5.1 percent to 112.50 Swiss francs. The company said 2011 orders rose 14 percent, or 8.4 percent nominally, to 3.6 billion francs ($3.8 billion).
Petroplus Holdings AG surged 16 percent to 1.39 francs, the most since November 2006. Europe’s largest independent refiner has reached a temporary agreement with lenders to renegotiate its debts and maintain operations at its Coryton and Ingolstadt refineries.
Solar shares gained after a government body said China plans to double solar capacity this year. The head of China’s National Energy Administration, Liu Tienan, said yesterday that the country will install 3 gigawatts in 2012.
Wacker Chemie AG (WCH), the second-biggest maker of solar-grade silicon, advanced 6 percent to 78 euros. Solarworld AG (SWV), Germany’s largest solar-panel maker, rose 10.4 percent to 3.96 euros.
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