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European stocks were little changed, following last week’s rally for the region’s equity benchmark, as a selloff in banks offset Greek opinion polls that eased concern the country will leave the euro.
Greece’s New Democracy, which supports the spending cuts and tax increases imposed by the European Union, came first in all six opinion polls published on May 26 as campaigning continued for the general election on June 17.
Party leader Antonis Samaras said Greece’s departure from the euro would cause incomes, bank deposits and property values to lose at least half their value within days, while food prices would rise by a quarter.
National benchmark indexes declined in 9 of the 12 western- European markets that opened today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 slipped less than 0.1 percent, Germany’s DAX dropped 0.3 percent and France’s CAC 40 decreased 0.2 percent.
Bankia, the lender that Spain nationalized this month, tumbled 13 percent to 1.37 euros after the group said it will seek state funds as it set aside provisions for residential mortgages and lending to companies.
The group took provisions of 5.5 billion euros for non-real estate lending after stress-testing the loans, Director General Jose Sevilla told reporters in Madrid on May 26. It also reclassified 300 million euros of lending, that it had booked as loans to small- and medium-sized companies, as lending to property developers, Chairman Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri said.
Banco Popular retreated 7 percent to 1.72 euros and Bankinter dropped 4.2 percent to 2.81 euros. A gauge of bank shares lost 1.1 percent, led by Spanish and Italian lenders.
Rio Tinto, the world’s third-biggest mining company, gained 2.2 percent to 2,855 pence, Antofagasta Plc increased 2 percent to 1,037 pence and BHP Billiton Ltd., the largest mining company, rose 0.7 percent to 1,716 pence.
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