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17.12.2012 18:21

European stocks close:

European stocks were little changed as concern U.S. lawmakers won’t agree on a budget before the holiday offset the election in Japan of a party that backs more economic stimulus.

Royal KPN NV slumped 15 percent as the Dutch phone company partly owned by Carlos Slim’s America Movil SAB scrapped its dividend. Aggreko Plc, the world’s largest provider of mobile power supplies, slumped the most in more than 10 years after saying earnings will be “slightly lower” next year. PSA Peugeot Citroen gained 6.4 percent as Europe’s second-biggest carmaker said it is close to finalizing a deal with lenders to refinance debt at its banking unit.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index (SXXP) retreated 0.1 percent to 279.18 at the close of trading, after earlier falling as much as 0.5 percent.

National benchmark indexes rose in 10 of the 18 western European markets.

FTSE 100 5,912.15 -9.61 -0.16% CAC 40 3,638.1 -5.18 -0.14% DAX 7,604.94 +8.47 +0.11%

KPN (KPN) slumped 15 percent to 3.94 euros, its biggest decline in 11 years. The company cut its dividend as it spent 1.35 billion euros to buy frequencies for faster mobile networks. HSBC Holdings Plc. cut its recommendation on the stock to underweight, a rating similar to sell, from neutral, and forecast a target price of 4 euros for KPN’s shares.

Aggreko sank 22 percent to 1,664 pence, its steepest drop since June 2002. Chief Executive Officer Rupert Soames said the company is facing the same conditions as in 2008 when it suffered a “pretty sharp” drop-off in orders for four quarters.

Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) slipped 1.7 percent to 158.2 pence. Deutsche Telekom AG lost 0.3 percent to 8.52 euros. Tele2 AB retreated 1 percent to 117.40 kronor. All three companies participated in the Dutch government’s spectrum auction, with Vodafone paying 1.4 billion euros and T-Mobile paying 911 million euros, according to the government.

UBS AG (UBSN) lost 0.5 percent to 14.97 Swiss francs, after earlier dropping as much as 1.5 percent. The Zurich-based bank is set to pay as much as $1.6 billion to settle claims of Libor manipulation by the U.S. Justice Department, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.K. Financial Services Authority and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, said a person familiar with the probes.

PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG) gained 6.4 percent to 5.60 euros as the carmaker said it is close to finalizing a deal with a pool of banks to refinance debt at its banking unit.

Centamin Plc (CEY) surged 22 percent to 42.14 pence after the gold producer said that exports from its Sukari mine in Egypt have resumed. Centamin said production will restart within the next few days.


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