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European stocks declined from a 4 1/2-year high, as European Union leaders eased constraints on national budgets amid a deepening euro-area recession. European Union leaders endorsed “structural” budgetary assessments, using code for granting countries such as France, Spain and Portugal extra time to bring down deficits. Still, balanced budgets remained the goal and there was no talk of large-scale spending programs or bond issues.
European political chiefs also paved the way for finance ministers to wrangle a rescue for Cyprus today as the euro area seeks progress toward a bailout that’s been batted about for nine months.
Bwin.Party sank 4.6 percent to 144.6 pence. Gross average daily revenue in January and February fell 7 percent from the final quarter of 2012 after a decision to “focus on nationally regulated markets and on high value customers,” the gambling company said.
Vivendi lost 3.5 percent to 16.07 euros. The company halted the planned sale of GVT after failing to get a satisfactory bid for the division, which had been valued at 5.2 billion euros ($6.8 billion).
Ingenico, a French provider of payment terminals and services, declined 3.6 percent to 44.35 euros. Safran’s Morpho will sell 6.6 million Ingenico shares, or a 12.57 percent stake, in a private placement, while retaining a 10.2 percent stake.
FTSE 100 6,506.76 -22.65 -0.35%
CAC 40 3,853.41 -18.17 -0.47%
DAX 8,055.77 -2.60 -0.03%
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