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European stocks declined from a 22- month high as European Central Bank policy makers kept the benchmark interest rate at a record low.
ECB policy makers meeting in Frankfurt today left the benchmark rate at a record low of 0.75 percent, as predicted by 50 out of 55 economists in a Bloomberg News survey.
The Bank of England also held its interest rate at a record-low 0.5 percent, in line with economists’ predictions.
National benchmark indexes rose in 10 of the 18 western European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 was little changed. France’s CAC 40 retreated 0.4 percent and Germany’s DAX declined 0.2 percent.
Richemont, the world’s biggest luxury jewelry maker, retreated 2.1 percent to 76 Swiss francs after Tiffany said full-year profit excluding some items will be at the lower end of its previous forecast of $3.20 to $3.40 a share.
Nokia surged 11 percent to 3.32 euros. The Finnish mobile- phone maker seeking to reverse falling sales said operating profit at its handset unit, excluding some items, was at a break-even level or as much as 2 percent of sales. In October, the company projected an operating loss for the unit of 6 percent of sales, plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Tesco gained 1.8 percent to 355.4 pence. The U.K.’s biggest grocer reported the strongest sales growth since 2010 as money- off coupons and an enhanced food offering helped spark a revival. U.K. sales at stores open at least a year rose 1.8 percent in the six weeks ended Jan. 5, excluding gasoline and value-added taxes.
MAN SE gained 3.5 percent to 86.94 euros. Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest carmaker, will offer to buy out the rest of the German truckmaker’s shareholders to take full control of the company.
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