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13.06.2013 17:20

European stocks close

European stocks were little changed as better-than-estimated U.S. retail sales data offset investor speculation that this year's rally has overshot the outlook for company earnings.

Stocks pared losses as a Commerce Department report showed U.S. retail sales climbed 0.6 percent in May, exceeding the 0.4 percent forecast by economists in a survey.

The World Bank said in a report that the global economy will expand 2.2 percent this year, less than a January forecast for 2.4 percent growth and slower than last year's 2.3 percent. It lowered its projection for developing economies and said the euro area's gross domestic product will fall 0.6 percent.

National benchmark indexes fell in 11 of the 18 western-European markets. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 0.1 percent, France's CAC 40 rose 0.1 percent, while Germany's DAX lost 0.6 percent.

RBS fell 3.3 percent to 315 pence after Hester said he is resigning later this year at the board's request as the state-controlled British bank prepares for privatization.

Home Retail tumbled 9 percent to 131.1 pence after saying it expects consumer spending to remain subdued this year. Same-store sales at Argos stores rose 1.9 percent in the 13 weeks ended June 1, missing the 3 percent-gain estimated by analysts in a survey.

Rhoen-Klinikum gained 6.7 percent to 17.73 euros as shareholders abolished a clause requiring a majority of 90 percent of capital represented at its annual meetings to approve decisions. Last year's takeover bid from Fresenius SE failed to clear the threshold after rival Asklepios Kliniken GmbH bought a stake.

Market Focus

  • The eurozone started the third quarter on a solid footing, according to PMI survey data
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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