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22.02.2012 19:00

European stocks close:

European stocks retreated for a second day after a report showed services and manufacturing output in the euro area unexpectedly contracted in February.

European  services and manufacturing output unexpectedly shrank in February as the euro-area economy struggled to rebound from a contraction in the fourth quarter. A euro-area composite index based on a survey of purchasing managers in both industries dropped to 49.7 from 50.4 in January, London-based Markit Economics said in an initial estimate released by e-mail today.

A separate Purchasing Managers Index showed German services and manufacturing expansion unexpectedly slowed in February amid declining orders at factories in Europe’s largest economy.

Fitch Ratings cut Greece’s credit grade two levels to ‘C’ from ‘CCC’ after the country got approval to proceed with a bond exchange that will reduce its debt burden and avert the collapse of the economy.

Minutes of the U.K central bank’s February meeting showed seven of the nine members of the BOE’s Monetary Policy Committee, including Governor Mervyn King, voted to increase the bond-purchase target by 50 billion pounds ($78.6 billion) to 325 billion pounds. They argued that a larger increase “risked sending a signal that the committee thought the economic situation was weaker than it was,” the minutes showed.

FTSE 100 5,916.55 -11.65 -0.20%, CAC 40 3,447.37 -17.87 -0.52%, DAX 6,843.87 -64.31 -0.93%

TUI  retreated 7.6 percent to 5.99 euros. BNP Paribas (BNP) SA is managing the sale of 12.85 million TUI shares priced at 6.05 euros apiece, according to terms of the offer obtained by Bloomberg News.

Peugeot surged 12 percent to 16.13 euros, the most since April 2009. The company, which last week reported a slump in profit and an increase in debt, is in talks on a possible alliance with General Motors Co., French Labor Minister Xavier Bertrand said.

Cove Energy Plc rallied 26 percent to 194 pence, the highest since at least May 2005, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s biggest oil company, offered to buy the U.K. explorer for 992.4 million pounds in cash.

Accor SA, Europe’s biggest hotel company, advanced 2.5 percent to 26.84 euros after full-year profit rose 19 percent. Earnings before interest and tax climbed to 530 million euros from 446 million euros a year earlier. That compared with the 523.7 million-euro average of 17 analyst estimates in a Bloomberg survey and Accor’s own forecast of 510 million euros to 530 million euros.

22.02.2012 17:59

U.S. stocks fell

Market Focus

  • The eurozone started the third quarter on a solid footing, according to PMI survey data
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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