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16.04.2013 17:25

European stocks close

European stocks fell for a third straight day as German investor confidence declined more than forecast and the International Monetary Fund cut its global growth outlook.

In Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, the ZEW Center for European Economic Research’s index of investor and analyst expectations fell to 36.3 in April from 48.5 last month. Economists in a survey had predicted a reading of 41.

The IMF trimmed its 2013 growth forecasts for a fourth consecutive time, saying the global economy will expand 3.3 percent. The Washington-based fund had previously estimated 3.5 percent expansion this year.

National benchmark indexes declined in all 18 western European markets, except Iceland. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slipped 0.6 percent, Germany’s DAX Index slid 0.4 percent and France’s CAC 40 lost 0.7 percent.

Michael Page plunged 5 percent to 377.4 pence, the biggest drop since May 4, 2012. The recruitment company reported a 6.7 percent drop in first-quarter gross profit and forecast the second quarter will be “challenging.”

LVMH retreated 3.8 percent to 126.25 euros, the lowest since Nov. 16. The maker of Louis Vuitton bags said fashion and leather goods revenue rose 3 percent in the three months through March, excluding currency swings and acquisitions, the weakest quarterly rate since the final period of 2009. Analysts had predicted 5 percent growth.

Stockmann Oyj lost 3 percent to 11.30 euros, the lowest price in almost four years. The Finnish department-store owner said full-year profit will miss forecasts as a recession in the northernmost country using the euro hurt first-quarter revenue.

Danone rose 2.2 percent to 55.68 euros after the Paris- based maker of Evian bottled-water and Activia yogurt reported first-quarter sales growth that beat estimates as strong demand for baby food in emerging markets offset weak dairy sales in Europe. Comparable sales gained 5.6 percent, topping the 4 percent average of 14 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Actelion Ltd. gained 3.7 percent to 54.30 francs after the Swiss drugmaker that gets almost all its sales from a treatment for a rare lung disease reported quarterly profit that beat estimates and said it may raise its full-year forecast.


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