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European stocks declined for the first week in five as worse-than-estimated earnings from BASF SE and ABB Ltd. raised concern the economic recovery is faltering.
Manufacturing indexes based on surveys of purchasing managers rose in the U.S. this month and unexpectedly climbed to a level that signals expansion in the euro area, London-based Markit Economics said this week. Chinese manufacturing weakened further in July, according to a preliminary survey of purchasing managers.
National benchmark indexes fell in nine of the 18 western European markets this week. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 slipped 1.1 percent, France’s CAC 40 (CAC) gained 1.1 percent and Germany’s DAX Index dropped 1 percent.
BASF retreated 5.9 percent. The world’s biggest chemical company said second-quarter earnings before interest, taxes and one-time items fell 5.4 percent to 1.83 billion euros ($2.41 billion). The average estimate of analysts in a survey had called for 1.99 billion euros.
ABB slid 4.7 percent. The largest maker of power transformers posted second-quarter net income of $763 million, missing the $779-million average estimate of analysts.
Siemens dropped 4.5 percent. The company, which makes products from power turbines to high-speed trains, said July 25 it no longer predicts an operating profit margin of at least 12 percent of sales in the 12 months through September 2014, citing “lower market expectations.”
Royal KPN NV jumped 19 percent. The largest Dutch phone company agreed to sell its E-Plus mobile-phone business in Germany to Spain’s Telefonica SA in a deal valuing the division at 8.1 billion euros. Telefonica rose 6.7 percent.
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