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European stocks dropped to an almost six-week low as concern grew that the U.S. will take military action against Syria. U.S. equity-index futures were little changed, while Asian shares fell.
The U.S., France and Britain are moving closer to military action against Syria, laying out the justification, putting forces into place and rounding up allies in the region.
The confrontation with Syria will be at the forefront when U.S. President Barack Obama, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande join other leaders of the Group of 20 nations next week in St. Petersburg, Russia. The host for the summit is Russian President Vladimir Putin, an ally of Assad who has thwarted previous action against Syria at the UN and questioned the evidence about whether a chemical attack took place.
Accor dropped 3.2 percent to 27.88 euros. Europe’s largest hotel operator said first-half earnings before interest and taxes fell to 198 million euros ($265 million) from 212 million euros a year earlier. That missed the average analyst projection that called for 212 million euros. The company predicted 2013 Ebit of between 510 million euros and 530 million euros, compared with the average 534 million-euro analyst estimate.
Ryanair Holdings Plc declined 1.1 percent to 6.45 euros. The U.K. antitrust regulators ordered the discount carrier to cut its stake in Aer Lingus Group Plc to no more than 5 percent to address competition concerns. Ryanair said it will appeal against the ruling.
A gauge of European travel companies slumped to a two-week low, for the worst performance among the 19 groups in the Stoxx 600. All 21 shares in the industry gauge fell. Thomas Cook Group Plc slid 2 percent to 133.4 pence and EasyJet Plc retreated 2.2 percent to 1,207 pence.
Bouygues rose 5.4 percent to 24.17 euros, for its biggest increase in five weeks. The French building, telecommunications and television company’s operating profit increased to 432 million euros from 394 million euros a year earlier. Analysts had forecast 358 million euros, according to the average of three estimates.
FTSE 100 6,402.58 -38.39 -0.60%
CAC 40 3,953.09 -15.64 -0.39%
DAX 8,154.23 -88.33 -1.07%
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