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European stocks slid the most in nine weeks after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the Obama administration will hold Syria accountable for using chemical weapons against its own people.
The Stoxx 600 slid 1.6 percent to 299.51 at 4:30 p.m. in London. The equity benchmark has still rallied 8.6 percent from this year’s low on June 24 as the European Central Bank said that interest rates will remain low for an extended period. The Stoxx 600 fell yesterday after Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Liberty party threatened to withdraw its support from Italy’s coalition government if the country’s Senate votes to remove the billionaire former prime minister. The senators will discuss Berlusconi’s case from Sept. 9.
The Federal Reserve holds its next meeting on Sept. 17-18. The central bank will decide to reduce its $85 billion of monthly asset purchases at the meeting, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg on Aug. 9-13. Secretary of State Kerry denounced an attack on a suburb of Damascus last week, saying it required a response against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
National benchmark indexes declined in every western-European market today.
FTSE 100 6,440.97 -51.13 -0.79% CAC 40 3,968.73 -98.40 -2.42% DAX 8,242.56 -192.59 -2.28%
Renault and Porsche fell 4.7 percent to 56.45 euros and 4.1 percent to 64.68 euros, respectively. The preferred shares of Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest carmaker, slid 3.2 percent to 176.35 euros. Daimler AG, the third-biggest maker of luxury vehicles, slipped 4.8 percent to 52.89 euros. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the biggest, decreased 3.2 percent to 73 euros.
UniCredit SpA (UCG) and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, Italy’s two largest lenders, dropped 4.2 percent to 4.23 euros and 4.4 percent to 1.45 euros, respectively. The yield on benchmark 10-year Italian bonds climbed seven basis points to 4.45 percent. Banco Santander SA and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Spain’s two biggest banks, slid 3.7 percent to 5.41 euros and 3.7 percent to 7.25 euros, respectively. The yield on 10-year Spanish debt rose four basis points to 4.50 percent.
Antofagasta Plc retreated 3.3 percent to 884.5 pence. The copper producer controlled by Chile’s Luksic family said in a statement that net income declined to $395 million from $646.1 million a year earlier. Sales (ANTO) slipped 12 percent to $2.78 billion in the six months through June as metal prices declined.
ThyssenKrupp AG fell 3.1 percent to 15.82 euros. Nomura Holdings Inc. downgraded Germany’s largest steelmaker to neutral from buy. The brokerage said that the shares will probably not rally because the Brazilian real has weakened against the euro. ThyssenKrupp’s Steel Americas unit owns a steel mill in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro.
Fresnillo Plc, a producer of gold and silver, surged 7.1 percent to 1,310 pence, its highest price since April, as precious metals rose. Randgold Resources Ltd. gained 4.1 percent to 5,335 pence.
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