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European stocks fell for a fifth day, posting their biggest weekly selloff since September, amid signs of slowing growth in China and continued concern that Greece will have to leave the euro area.
Almost $4 trillion has been wiped from global equity markets in May amid mounting concern Greece will have to leave the euro currency union. The country’s credit rating was reduced one level by Fitch Ratings late yesterday amid concern it will not muster the political support needed to remain a member of the 17-nation euro area.
Moody’s lowered the debt ratings of 16 Spanish banks after the close of U.S. trading yesterday, citing mounting loan losses, the country’s recession, restricted access to funds and the reduced ability of the government to support lenders as its own creditworthiness diminishes.
National benchmark indexes retreated in 14 of the 17 western-European market that opened today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 slid 1.3 percent, while Germany’s DAX slid 0.6 percent. France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.1 percent.
Rio Tinto, the world’s third-biggest mining company, retreated 2.4 percent to 2,788 pence. Vedanta Resources Plc lost 2.7 percent to 958.5 pence and Xstrata Plc dropped 4.3 percent to 914.7 pence.
Volkswagen dropped 2 percent to 128.20 euros, Porsche SE slid 2.4 percent to 39.93 euros and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG lost 2.3 percent to 61.31 euros. Volvo AB sank 4.6 percent to 78.45 kronor.
LSE jumped 2.9 percent to 992 pence after Europe’s oldest independent bourse posted profit for the six months to the end of March that surged to 405.9 million pounds ($641 million), boosted by money earned from deposits at its Italian central counterparty.
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