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European stocks declined for a third day, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) sliding to its lowest level in almost seven weeks as results from companies including Alfa Laval AB and D.E Master Blenders (DE) 1753 NV disappointed investors.
Alfa Laval and D.E Master Blenders fell at least 5 percent each. Mulberry Group Plc (MUL) plunged 24 percent after unexpectedly saying profit will fall. Chemical makers including Arkema SA (AKE) tumbled after DuPont Co.’s earnings lagged forecasts.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 1.7 percent to 268.40 at the close of trading, its lowest level since Sept. 5.
European stocks fell yesterday as investors speculated that Spain will face less pressure to seek a bailout after a victory in regional elections for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
Moody’s Investors Service lowered its credit rating on Catalonia and four other Spanish regions. The decision was “driven by the deterioration in their liquidity positions, as evidenced by their very limited cash reserves as of September 2012 and their significant reliance on short-term credit lines to fund operating needs,” the ratings company said.
National benchmark indexes fell in all of the 18 western European markets except Iceland.
FTSE 100 5,799.95 -82.96 -1.41% CAC 40 3,405.84 -77.41 -2.22% DAX 7,173.85 -154.20 -2.10%
Alfa Laval (ALFA) slipped 5.7 percent to 116.80 kronor. The company reported third-quarter order intake of 7.29 billion kronor ($1.1 billion), missing the estimates of Deutsche Bank AG and UBS AG. Alpha Laval said it sees fourth-quarter demand in line with or lower than that of the third quarter.
D.E Master Blenders, the coffee and tea company spun off by Sara Lee Corp. in June, lost 5.3 percent to 9.28 euros after it posted first-quarter revenue that missed analyst estimates as price increases in Germany led consumers to reduce purchases. Revenue fell 1.5 percent to 645 million euros in the three months through September, the company said. Analysts had expected sales of 664 million euros.
Mulberry tumbled 24 percent to 1,006 pence. The British luxury-handbag maker said in an unscheduled announcement that profit will fall because of declining shipments to wholesale customers. Pretax profit will rise to 41.8 million pounds ($66.9 million) in the fiscal year through March.
Burberry Plc (BRBY), the largest U.K. luxury-goods maker, slid 3.2 percent to 1,134 pence.
Norsk Hydro ASA (NHY), Europe’s third-largest aluminum maker, retreated 5.2 percent to 25.48 kroner. The company posted a third-quarter net loss of 277 million kroner ($49 million), compared with a profit of 997 million kroner a year earlier. That surpassed a loss estimate of 142 million kroner.
Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) fell 5.1 percent to 2.05 euros. The mobile-phone maker trying to cope with falling sales and dwindling cash will sell 750 million euros of convertible bonds to address approaching debt maturities.
Michelin & Cie (ML) added 3.4 percent to 63.97 euros. The world’s second-largest tiremaker said third-quarter revenue rose 5.7 percent to 5.44 billion euros, beating the 5.31 billion-euro average of analyst.
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