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European stocks declined for the first time in three days, sending the Stoxx Europe 600 Index down from its highest level since June 2008. U.S. index futures were little changed, while Asian shares fell.
The Stoxx 600 lost 0.2 percent to 307.46 at 10:58 a.m. in London. The benchmark gauge has rallied 9.9 percent so far in 2013, its best start to a year since 1998, bolstered by central-bank monetary stimulus.
In the U.S., a report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington, may show housing starts dropped to a 970,000 annual rate in April, after jumping in March to a 1.04 million pace, according to the median.
Zurich Insurance lost 3.5 percent to 260.90 Swiss francs after Switzerland's biggest insurer reported a 7 percent decline in first-quarter net income to $1.06 billion. That missed the $1.14 billion average estimate. Chief Executive Officer Martin Senn said in a statement that the company is on track to meet its targets as all core businesses delivered "high-quality" operating performance.
Vivendi slid 2.5 percent to 15.32 euros after people with knowledge of the talks said Activision (ATVI) has halted discussions to buy back shares amid a disagreement on price. The world's largest video-game publisher planned to buy at least part of Vivendi's stake as recently as last month, said the people.
Vivendi, which has a 61 percent Activision holding valued at more than $10 billion, is still exploring how to extract cash from its stake, including a possible dividend recapitalization, one of the people said.
Suedzucker AG tumbled 8 percent to 26.97 euros, for the biggest decline on the Stoxx 600, after Europe's largest sugar producer forecast that full-year operating profit will fall "significantly" to about 825 million euros.
Richemont jumped 6.5 percent to 87.95 francs, its highest price since at least 1990, after the the owner of the Cartier brand reported full-year net income of 2.01 billion euros ($2.58 billion), beating analyst estimates for 1.96 billion euros. The company also proposed a dividend of 1 franc, topping forecasts.
FTSE 100 6,696.09 +2.54 +0.04%
CAC 40 3,966.9 -15.33 -0.38%
DAX 8,341.98 -20.44 -0.24%
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