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European stocks declined from a five-year high as investors sold stakes in companies from Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY) to Continental AG. U.S. index futures were little changed, while Asian shares slid.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.4 percent to 312.06 at 9:04 a.m. in London after yesterday rallying to its highest level in more than five years. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures decreased 0.2 percent after the equity benchmark rose to a six-week high yesterday, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index retreated 0.5 percent from its highest level since May 22.
The Federal Open Market Committee will probably decide at a two-day policy meeting starting today to lower its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases by $10 billion, according to the median estimate of economists survey earlier this month. Economists forecast in a July survey that the Fed would reduce its asset purchases by $20 billion.
Lloyds retreated 2.1 percent to 75.8 pence after UK Financial Investments Ltd. sold a 6 percent stake in the U.K.’s largest mortgage lender. The body, which oversees the government’s holdings in banks, said it sold 4.28 billion shares at 75 pence apiece. The transaction reduced the government’s stake in Lloyds to 32.7 percent from 38.7 percent.
Continental fell 3.9 percent to 122 euros after Schaeffler AG and Schaeffler Verwaltungs GmbH sold a combined stake of about 4 percent in Europe’s second-largest car-parts maker.
A gauge of European carmakers slipped 1.4 percent from its highest level in at least 26 years after a report showed European car sales fell 4.9 percent in August. Volkswagen AG lost 1.9 percent to 179.50 euros, while PSA Peugeot Citroen and Fiat SpA dropped 3.6 percent to 12.18 euros and 1.4 percent to 6.05 euros, respectively.
FTSE 100 6,601.38 -21.48 -0.32%
CAC 40 4,138.58 -13.64 -0.33%
DAX 8,597.67 -15.33 -0.18%
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