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European stocks declined, following nine months of gains for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, as measures of manufacturing in the U.K. and China dropped.
China’s manufacturing growth unexpectedly slowed last month. The official purchasing managers’ index slipped to 50.1 in February from 50.4 in January, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said today in Beijing. The reading compared with the 50.5 median estimate in a survey of 31 economists. A number above 50 means that activity increased.
A separate release showed that a measure of manufacturing in the U.K. unexpectedly dropped last month. The PMI retreated to 47.9 from a revised 50.5 in January.
Belgacom SA sank to the lowest price since its initial public offering in 2004 after its forecast for 2013 missed projections.
Rio Tinto Group slid 2.6 percent after a person close to the matter said it plans to sell its Canadian iron-ore operations.
Thales SA jumped the most in 13 years after posting full-year profit that beat analysts’ projections.
FTSE 100 6,338.04 -22.77 -0.36%
CAC 40 3,684.52 -38.48 -1.03%
DAX 7,682.99 -58.71 -0.76%
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