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European stocks fell, for the longest streak of weekly losses since August, as concern resurfaced about the euro-area’s debt crisis and China’s economic growth slowed last quarter more than forecast.
The cost of insuring against a Spanish default jumped to a record as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy struggles to prevent the nation from becoming the fourth euro-region member to need a bailout.
Growth in China’s economy, the world’s second biggest, slowed more than forecast last quarter to the least in almost three years. Gross domestic product rose 8.1 percent from a year earlier following an 8.9 percent increase in the fourth quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing said today.
National benchmark indexes fell in every western-European market. France’s CAC 40 slid 2.5 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 decreased 1 percent and Germany’s DAX slipped 2.4 percent. Spain’s IBEX 35 dropped 3.6 percent to its lowest level since March 2009, while Italy’s FTSE MIB sank 3.4 percent. Greece was closed for a holiday.
Italian banks led a gauge of European lenders lower, with UniCredit, the nation’s biggest bank, dropping 6 percent to 3.03 euros, and Popolare di Milano retreating 8.2 percent to 34.6 euro cents. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA sank 4.8 percent to 1.16 euros. BNP Paribas SA slid 5.2 percent to 30.40 euros, while Banco Santander declined 3.2 percent to 4.86 euros.
Cap Gemini, France’s biggest computer-services company, slipped 5.1 percent to 29.92 euros after peer Infosys Ltd. plunged the most in almost three years in Mumbai trading after forecasting sales lower than analysts had estimated.
STMicroelectronics NV, Europe’s largest semiconductor maker, dropped 5.1 percent to 5.21 euros.
Sage Group Plc, the U.K.’s largest software maker, slipped 2.6 percent to 287.7 pence. Milan Radia, an analyst at Jefferies Group Inc., cut the stock to hold from buy.
L’Oreal climbed 1.2 percent to 92.14 euros after it reported first-quarter sales that exceeded analysts’ estimates and said trends are favorable for all its brands.
Stallergenes SA, the French pharmaceutical company that makes allergy treatments, increased 3.3 percent to 42.66 euros as first-quarter sales rose to 75.7 million euros from 70.9 million euros a year earlier.
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