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European stocks declined for a second day as European Central Bank Governing Council member Jens Weidmann said boosting the euro area’s rescue funds will not solve its debt crisis.
Euro-area finance ministers are likely to bolster Europe’s crisis funds to between 700 billion euros ($934 billion) and 9 billion euros at a meeting in Copenhagen on March 30. German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week gave her first indication that she is prepared to allow an increase in the firewall as Portugal and Spain show “fragility.”
Italy’s Prime Minister, Mario Monti, said in Tokyo today the euro area’s woes are “almost over” after a slow initial response by policy makers. The risk of debt contagion from Spain has decreased after measures taken to boost a firewall, he said.
France’s economy expanded less than expected in the fourth quarter. Gross domestic product grew 1.3 percent in the three months from a year earlier, instead of the 1.4 percent previously estimated, the national statistics office Insee said today.
The U.K.’s economy shrank more than previously forecast in the fourth quarter as output at services companies declined. GDP fell 0.3 percent from the third quarter, compared with a previous estimate of 0.2 percent, the Office for National Statistics said today in London.
FTSE 100 5,808.99 -60.56 -1.03%, CAC 40 3,430.15 -39.44 -1.14%, DAX 6,998.8 -80.10 -1.13%
JKX Oil & Gas plunged 14 percent to 157.75 pence after the company said it will not pay an interim dividend for 2011 and that financial resources over the next six months “will be stretched.”
Evraz Plc slid 5.5 percent to 359.80 pence. Russia’s largest steelmaker by output said net income dropped to $461 million last year from $486 million in 2010. That missed analysts’ estimate of $910 million.
Nokia Oyj rose 3.5 percent to 4.14 euros after Swedbank AB upgraded the stock to buy from neutral, saying the mobile phone maker will ship “decent” volumes this year.
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