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European stocks fell, after the region’s equities posted their largest weekly gain in three months, as China’s imports unexpectedly dropped, and Greece struggled to qualify for aid payments.
In China, inbound shipments declined 2.6 percent in August from a year earlier, the customs bureau said in Beijing today. That missed the median estimate of a 3.5 percent gain, according to economists. Imports rose 4.7 percent in July from a year earlier.
Industrial production in the world’s second-largest economy increased the least in three years last month, according to a report from the National Bureau of Statistics yesterday. Production increased 8.9 percent, compared with 9.2 percent in July. Greece’s Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, meets with officials from the European Commission, the ECB and the International Monetary Fund today. He failed to obtain an agreement from his coalition partners on the spending cuts required to obtain further aid from the country’s bailout.
National benchmark indexes fell in 13 of the 18 western- European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX slipped less than 0.1 percent. France’s CAC 40 lost 0.4 percent.
A gauge of food and beverage stocks lost 1.2 percent for the biggest slide of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600. Unilever slid 1.7 percent to 27.41 euros, while AB InBev sank 2.8 percent to 66.18 euros. Nestle SA, the world’s largest food company, declined 0.7 percent to 58.85 Swiss francs.
A gauge of mining shares posted the biggest gain on the Stoxx 600 as copper prices rose. Rio Tinto Group climbed 1.6 percent to 3,069 pence and Anglo American Plc added 1.5 percent to 2,001.5 pence.
Royal Philips Electronics NV, a maker of light bulbs, consumer electronics and health-care products, dropped 2.4 percent to 19.03 euros after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. cut its recommendation on the shares to neutral from buy. Credit Suisse Group AG also lowered its rating on Philips to neutral.
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