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European stocks dropped the most in two weeks as an official at China’s association of carmakers said auto sales will miss its forecast in 2012.
Vehicle sales in the world’s second-largest economy will probably miss the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers’ forecast for 2012, according to an official at the state-backed body. Total vehicle deliveries -- forecast to grow 8 percent this year -- may fail to increase by even 5 percent because of the “difficult” economy, Gu Xianghua, one of two deputies to the secretary general at the CAAM, said at a conference in Qingdao today, giving his personal opinion.
BHP Billiton said China’s steel production has slowed as the world’s fastest-growing major economy switches its focus toward consumers and away from large building projects.
National benchmark indexes declined in 15 of the 18 western-European markets.
FTSE 100 5,891.41 -69.70 -1.17%, CAC 40 3,530.83 -47.05 -1.32%, DAX 7,054.94 -99.28 -1.39%
BMW, the world’s largest maker of luxury vehicles, sank 5 percent to 68.22 euros. Daimler, whose Mercedes-Benz division is third-biggest after BMW and Audi, dropped 4.4 percent to 45.05 euros. Volkswagen, which owns Audi, slid 4.4 percent to 133.05 euros. Porsche SE decreased 3.9 percent to 44.71 euros.
BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, slid 4.1 percent to 1,965 pence as a gauge of mining shares fell. Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third-largest mining company, dropped 4.2 percent to 3,464.5 pence.
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