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European stocks declined, snapping a three-week rally for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, as U.S. factory production and home sales missed economists’ forecasts.
Fewer Americans than forecast signed contracts to buy previously owned homes in September as rising mortgage rates slowed momentum in the housing market. The index of pending home sales slumped 5.6 percent, exceeding all estimates in a survey of economists and the biggest drop in more than three years, the National Association of Realtors reported.
Members of the Federal Open Market Committee are scheduled to meet Oct. 29-30, when they will consider scaling back asset purchases that have helped the Stoxx 600 more than double since March 2009. Policy makers will wait until March before starting to taper the $85 billion of monthly bond purchases, a Bloomberg survey showed this month.
Fiat retreated 3.2 percent to 5.74 euros as a gauge of carmakers fell the most among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600. PSA Peugeot Citroen sank 5.8 percent to 9.38 euros, the lowest level since July.
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the world’s biggest luxury-car maker, declined 1.5 percent to 82.39 euros and Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest carmaker, slipped 1.3 percent to 174.25 euros.
JPMorgan downgraded automakers to neutral from overweight, meaning investors should no longer hold more of the shares than are represented in regional benchmarks.
Volvo dropped 4.3 percent to 84.30 kronor as Natixis cut its rating on the truck maker to neutral from buy. The shares tumbled 6.6 percent on Oct. 25 after the company reported a surprise drop in operating profit.
TNT Express climbed 4.3 percent to 7.09 euros even after the package-delivery company reported a decline in sales and operating income. The company said it will step up restructuring efforts, without providing further details.
Mediobanca advanced 3.3 percent to 6.54 euros after fiscal first-quarter profit climbed 57 percent at Italy’s biggest publicly traded investment bank. Net income rose to 171.2 million euros in the three months ended Sept. 30 from 109 million euros a year earlier, including a 58.8 million-euro gain from the sale of part of its holding in Telco SpA.
Aggreko Plc, the world’s largest provider of mobile power generators, rallied 6 percent to 1,608 pence after saying “underlying” revenue and trading margins were “slightly ahead of last year” in the third quarter.
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