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European stocks erased their decline in the final half an hour of trading, leaving the Stoxx Europe 600 Index little changed at its highest level in a month.
Commodity producers slid as the release fueled concern about the slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy.
A report from the General Administration of Customs in Beijing showed that China’s exports fell 3.1 percent in June from a year earlier. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey had called for a 3.7 percent gain. Imports dropped 0.7 percent last month, compared with the median projection of a 6 percent increase.
In the U.S., the Federal Reserve releases the minutes of its June meeting at 2 p.m. in Washington today. Speaking after that meeting, Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank may reduce the pace of its $85 billion in monthly bond buying later in 2013, and may halt purchases in the middle of 2014 if the U.S. economy performs as the Fed forecasts.
National benchmark indexes fell in 10 of the 18 western-European markets today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 all slipped 0.1 percent.
K+S AG decreased 4 percent to 27.19 euros after UBS downgraded Europe’s largest potash maker to sell from neutral. Analysts led by Joe Dewhurst predicted that declining earnings will reduce cash returns to investors until 2018.
Gagfah SA slumped 6.5 percent to 8.75 euros, its biggest decrease in 18 months. Germany’s second-biggest residential landlord said it sold 9.5 million new shares and 10.5 million existing treasury shares at 8.85 euros apiece. Fortress Investment Group LLC sold 20 million shares in the company, taking its stake to about 49 percent, according to a statement.
Burberry, the U.K. luxury-goods maker known for its trench coats, advanced 4.8 percent to 1,509 pence. Retail sales increased to 339 million pounds ($506 million) in the three months ended in June, more than the 316 million-pound median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Tryg added 3.3 percent to 507.50 kroner. The Danish property and casualty insurer posted second-quarter profit before taxes of 688 million kroner ($118 million), more than the average analyst estimate of 598 million kroner.
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