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European stocks declined for a second day, as a shutdown of the U.S. government continued and a gauge of service-industry activity in the world’s biggest economy fell more than forecast.
U.S. President Barack Obama and congressional leaders yesterday failed to break a budget impasse in their first face-to-face negotiations since the government began its first partial shutdown in 17 years on Oct. 1. The standoff raises concern the budget dispute may affect talks to increase the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling by Oct. 17 so as to avoid a default.
The Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. non-manufacturing index fell to 54.4 in September from 58.6 the prior month, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a drop to 57. Estimates of the 75 economists ranged from 55 to 59.
National benchmark indexes retreated in 14 of the 18 western European markets. The U.K’s FTSE 100 added 0.2 percent, while France’s CAC 40 fell 0.7 percent. Germany’s DAX fell 0.4 percent, with the volume of shares traded 46 percent lower than the 30-day average as many businesses closed for the Unity Day holiday.
Gerresheimer declined 2 percent to 44.68 euros. Credit Suisse downgraded the producer of pharmaceutical and health-care equipment to neutral from outperform, similar to buy, saying the shares are nearing the brokerage’s 12-month price estimate of 46 euros. Gerresheimer closed at 45.60 euros yesterday.
Aviva climbed 1.4 percent to 413.1 pence after saying the sale of its U.S. life-insurance and annuities business to Apollo Global Management LLC’s Athene Holding Ltd. generated proceeds of $2.6 billion, higher than the $1.8 billion purchase price disclosed in December. Earnings and other improvements in the U.S. company’s surplus increased the value, Aviva said.
BP advanced 1.1 percent to 437.15 pence as the U.S. Court of Appeals asked District Judge Carl Barbier to review his interpretation of some of the terms of a settlement reached with spill victims’ lawyers in 2012.
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