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European stocks were little changed, erasing an earlier retreat for the region’s benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index, as U.S. industrial production climbed and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s earnings topped estimates.
TUI Travel Plc (TT/) gained 3.9 percent after Europe’s largest tour operator said it received an approach from its German majority owner. Anglo American Plc (AAL) dropped 3.1 percent as the African National Congress said South Africa’s government should withdraw the company’s platinum licenses. Societe Generale SA (GLE) lost 2.8 percent as CA Cheuvreux downgraded the French lender.
The Stoxx 600 rose less than 0.1 percent to 286.03 at the close of trading, after earlier falling as much as 0.4 percent.
FTSE 100 6,103.98 -13.33 -0.22% CAC 40 3,708.49 +11.14 +0.30% DAX 7,691.13 +15.22 +0.20%
Economic data today showed U.S. industrial production climbed 0.3 percent in December, for a second month of gains, as demand picked up for capital equipment. That matched the median forecast, after a revised 1 percent November gain, the Federal Reserve report showed.
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders held at the highest level in more than six years in January, adding to evidence that residential real estate will help spur economic growth. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index remained at 47.
Stocks fell earlier as the World Bank cut its global growth forecast for this year to 2.4 percent as austerity measures, high unemployment and low business confidence weigh on economies in developed nations. That’s down from a June forecast of 3 percent, after growth of 2.3 percent in 2012.
TUI Travel rallied 3.9 percent to 292.5 pence after the company said its in early stage talks with TUI AG (TUI1) that “may or may not result in a combination of the two companies.” Shares of TUI AG surged 8.8 percent to 8.05 euros in Frankfurt.
Anglo American, the world’s largest platinum producer, dropped 3.1 percent to 1,901 pence after the ANC called on the South African government to withdraw mining licenses from Anglo’s Amplats unit.
Lonmin Plc (LMI), the third-largest platinum producer, tumbled 5.7 percent to 326.3 pence.
KappAhl AB (KAHL) jumped 17 percent to 5.10 kronor after Sweden’s second-biggest publicly traded clothing retailer reported first- quarter net profit of 115 million kronor ($17.7 million), exceeding analyst estimates of 70.4 million kronor. Sales also topped forecasts.
Societe Generale slid 2.8 percent to 32.54 euros, a second day of losses. Cheuvreux downgraded the French bank to underperform, the equivalent of sell, from outperform.
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