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European stocks declined from a 15- month high as concern of a deepening economic slowdown in China overshadowed optimism resulting from the Federal Reserve’s third round of quantitative easing.
Citigroup Inc. cut its forecast for China’s 2013 growth to 7.6 percent from 8 percent on weakening external demand. Separately, the official Xinhua News Agency said China needs to be more cautious with its monetary policies as quantitative easing in the U.S. will create more pressure to control inflation.
National benchmark indexes fell in all of the 18 western European markets, except Belgium. Germany’s DAX slipped 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 (UKX) declined 0.4 percent, while France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.8 percent.
SSAB (SSABA) tumbled 6.9 percent to 53.05 kronor, the biggest decline since February. The steelmaker said demand for strip products has been much weaker than expected in the third quarter and warned that falling iron ore prices are expected to hurt earnings in the first quarter of next year.
H&M (HMB) declined 1.6 percent to 243.20 kronor as Europe’s second-largest clothing retailer reported third-quarter sales that missed analysts’ estimates after an August heatwave in some parts of the region hurt business. Revenue excluding value-added tax rose to 28.8 billion kronor ($4.4 billion) through Aug. 31, the Stockholm-based company said, missing the 29.8 billion-kronor average estimate of 19 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Sales at stores open at least a year declined 4 percent in August.
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