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European stocks declined as U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner said he supports the president’s call for action against Syria, offsetting better-than-forecast manufacturing data.
Boehner, an Ohio Republican, told reporters after meeting with President Barack Obama that the use of chemical weapons requires a response and only the U.S. has the capability to “warn others around the world that this type of behavior is not going to be tolerated.”
The U.S. Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index increased to 55.7 in August from 55.4 a month earlier, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. The median forecast of 85 economists called for the measure to rise to 54. A reading of 50 is the dividing line between expansion and contraction.
National benchmark indexes declined in 11 of the 18 western-European markets today. France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX each retreated 0.8 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 lost 0.6 percent, while Greece’s ASE advanced 2.4 percent.
Vodafone lost 5 percent to 202.5 pence as Verizon Communications Inc. agreed to buy the U.K. company’s 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless for $130 billion. The payout was structured to prevent Vodafone from ending up with a large stake in Verizon, two people familiar with the terms said. That forces Vodafone investors who’d prefer cash, or aren’t authorized to hold Verizon stock, to sell the shares they receive.
Nokia rallied 34 percent to 3.97 euros, its biggest gain since at least 1991. The deal with Microsoft includes 3.79 billion euros for the devices unit and 1.65 billion euros for patents, the companies said. Nokia Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop will step aside to return to Microsoft.
Dufry climbed 3.4 percent to 130.30 Swiss francs. The company said it signed long-term contracts with airports in Brazil and is investing $250 million to $275 million in its projects in the country.
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