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European stocks fell for the fourth time in five days as a leader in Greece’s coalition government said he won’t support more spending cuts demanded by the region’s finance ministers.
George Karatzaferis, the leader of the Laos party, today said he couldn’t support the accord worked out for a new financing agreement in its present form.
Euro-area finance ministers yesterday refused to approve a second aid package because of a lack of assurances by Greek party leaders that they will stick to their commitments after elections due as soon as April. The ministers asked Greece to turn its budget cuts into law and identify 325 million euros ($429 million) in spending reductions.
National benchmark indexes declined in 16 of the 18 western-European (SXXP) markets today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slipped 0.7 percent. France’s CAC 40 Index dropped 1.5 percent, while Germany’s DAX Index lost 1.4 percent.
National Bank of Greece, the country’s largest lender, fell 9.5 percent to 2.68 euros. Alpha Bank SA, the second-biggest, plummeted 9.4 percent to 1.45 euros. EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA dropped 9.3 percent to 88 euro cents.
Saab declined 8.6 percent to 136.40 kronor, its biggest drop since August. The Swedish company reported a fourth-quarter net income of 413 million kronor ($62 million) against analysts’ projection for 474 million kronor.
Commerzbank AG, Germany’s second-biggest lender, lost 5.2 percent to 2.06 euros.
Alcatel-Lucent, France’s largest telecommunications-gear supplier, jumped 12 percent to 1.68 euros after it said it expects to increase adjusted operating margins in 2012.
Total SA dropped 1.4 percent to 40.58 euros. The company plans to cut net investments to $20 billion in 2012, compared with $22 billion last year. Adjusted net income in the fourth quarter was 2.73 billion euros, in line with the average analyst estimate of 2.72 billion euros.
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