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European stocks fell, posting the biggest two-day drop in a month, as investors weighed corporate earnings and speculated stronger economic data will spur central banks to pare their stimulus measures. U.S. equity-index futures and Asian shares also retreated.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.4 percent to 320.46 at 10:39 a.m. in London. The gauge rallied for the past five weeks as the European Central Bank lowered its key interest rate and the Federal Reserve maintained bond purchases.
Investors will watch U.S. economic reports this week on first-time claims for unemployment benefits and manufacturing in the New York area for clues on when the Fed will reduce the pace of its stimulus. The central bank may delay a decision until March, when it may pare monthly bond purchases to $70 billion from $85 billion, according to the median estimate. The Fed next meets Dec. 17-18.
The Bank of England today brought forward the likely date for the U.K.’s unemployment rate to fall to 7 percent to the third quarter of 2015. That level is the trigger when the central bank may consider raising its benchmark interest rate.
The U.K.’s Office for National Statistics said the jobless rate as measured by the International Labour Organisation standards declined to 7.6 percent, the lowest since 2009, in the third quarter.
Stada Arzneimittel dropped 6.2 percent to 37.62 euros, for the biggest decline on the Stoxx 600. The drugmaker posted nine-month adjusted net income of 100.3 million euros ($135 million), missing analysts’ projection for 105 million euros.
Banco Popolare declined 3.2 percent to 1.38 euros. The Italian lender reported third-quarter net income of 9.26 million euros, missing analysts’ estimate of 47.5 million euros.
A gauge of bank shares fell 1.2 percent, for the second-biggest decline among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx 600.
Standard Chartered Plc lost 3.5 percent to 1,434 pence after Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. advised investors to sell the shares. UniCredit SpA dropped 3.2 percent to 5.28 euros. Commerzbank AG decreased 2.9 percent to 10.03 euros.
FTSE 100 6,653.77 -73.02 -1.09%
CAC 40 4,241.65 -22.13 -0.52%
DAX 9,053.39 -23.09 -0.25%
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