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20.08.2013 17:21

European stocks close

European stocks fell for a second day, following Asian shares lower, amid speculation the Federal Reserve will curb its bond-buying program as soon as next month.

Officials will probably begin to reduce the buying next month, according to 65 percent of economists surveyed by Bloomberg on Aug. 9-13. The FOMC holds its next two-day meeting on Sept. 17-18.

National benchmark indexes dropped in 17 of the 18 western European markets. France’s CAC 40 Index slipped 1.4 percent, Germany’s DAX Index lost 0.8 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index fell 0.2 percent.

BHP Billiton retreated 1.7 percent to 1,923.5 pence. The world’s biggest mining company said full-year profit slumped 30 percent after prices declined. Net income dropped to $10.9 billion in the year to June 30 from $15.4 billion a year ago. Profit, excluding one-time items, of $11.8 billion missed the $12.7 billion median forecast of analyst surveyed by Bloomberg.

Glencore Xstrata dropped 1.6 percent to 297.15 pence. The world’s biggest exporter of power station coal said first-half profit slid 39 percent and it wrote down the value of assets acquired in the Xstrata Plc takeover by $7.7 billion. Adjusted net income fell to $2.04 billion from $3.36 billion a year earlier, Glencore said. That still beat the $1.87 billion average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Deutsche Wohnen AG slipped 4.7 percent to 13.49 euros after it offered to buy GSW Immobilien AG in an all-share transaction that would create the second-largest owner of German homes. GSW jumped 6.3 percent to 33.45 euros, its highest price in almost three months.

Lindt gained 2.2 percent to 43,160 Swiss francs. The chocolate maker raised its profitability forecast after reporting first-half earnings that beat estimates as improving economic growth boosted consumption. The operating-margin increase this year will be near the upper end of a targeted 0.2 percentage-point to 0.4 percentage-point range. First-half net income rose 40 percent to 48.8 million Swiss francs ($53 million), beating the 44.3 million-franc average of five analyst estimates.

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