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European stocks were little changed as speculation that central banks will ease monetary policy offset service-industry measures in the U.K. and Germany that missed economists’ forecasts.
The European Central Bank and the Bank of England will announce interest-rate decisions tomorrow. ECB officials will cut their benchmark rate by 25 basis points to a record low 0.75 percent, according to the median forecast.
A U.K. gauge of services activity based on a survey of purchasing managers fell to 51.3 in June, an eight-month low, from 53.3 in May, Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said. The median forecast of 25 economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a reading of 52.9. A measure above 50 indicates expansion.
A German services PMI dropped to 49.9 last month from 51.8 in May, according to a separate report from Markit.
National benchmark indexes fell in 10 of the 18 western European markets. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 lost 0.3 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 dropped 0.2 percent.
Mediaset SpA, the broadcaster controlled by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, advanced 6.5 percent to 1.48 euros. The stock climbed following an Il Sole report that RTL Group and Al-Jazeera are seeking a partnership with the company for pay television.
EON AG dropped 1.6 percent to 16.91 euros after analysts downgraded the shares. Germany’s biggest utility was cut to neutral from overweight at JPMorgan, while Citigroup Inc. reduced its recommendation to sell from neutral.
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