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03.12.2013 18:20

European stock close

European stocks fell the most in more than three months as investors weighed valuations before U.S. jobs data this week that may help gauge when the Federal Reserve will pare its stimulus.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 1.4 percent to 319.44 at 4:30 p.m. in London, its biggest loss since Aug. 27. The gauge has rallied 14 percent this year, even as analysts cut their earnings estimate for its constituents to 21.37 euros per share from 24.13 euros at the beginning of 2013.

On Friday, investors will get the latest reading on U.S. non-farm payrolls for November, and data may show the unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent, matching the lowest level in five years. A jobs report tomorrow may show U.S. companies added the most workers since June. The central bank will release its Beige Book on economic conditions tomorrow.

The Fed has said it will monitor labor-market gains before deciding when to pare its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases. Policy makers will probably wait until their March 18-19 meeting, when they will reduce monthly bond purchases to $70 billion, according to the median estimate. They next meet on Dec. 17-18.

The European Central Bank and the Bank of England will both announce policy decisions on Thursday.

National benchmark indexes fell in all 18 western European markets.

FTSE 100 6,532.43 -62.90 -0.95% CAC 40 4,190.81 -95.00 -2.22% DAX 9,233.12 -168.84 -1.80%

ThyssenKrupp fell 2.4 percent to 17.21 euros. The German steelmaker sold 51.4 million new shares at 17.15 euros apiece. The company yesterday plunged the most since August 2011 after saying it would boost capital by 10 percent of its market value.

Orange declined 3.2 percent to 9.22 euros. Iliad SA’s Free Mobile subsidiary said it will offer customers 4G Internet as part of its monthly plans at no extra cost, according to a statement. Bouygues SA retreated 3.4 percent to 26.78 euros.

Sonova lost 1.5 percent to 123.40 Swiss francs. Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to equal weight, similar to a neutral recommendation, from overweight. New product releases from competitors such as GN Store Nord A/S and William Demant Holding A/S may hurt revenue growth, Morgan Stanley said.

Sanofi fell 2.9 percent to 75.03 euros, for its biggest decrease in four months. Tests showed Sanofi’s U300 treatment wasn’t more effective than the company’s best-selling Lantus diabetes drug in a test of patients not already taking insulin, Sanofi said.

Market Focus

  • Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States
  • Canada: Retail Sales, m/m, November 0.2% (forecast 0.5%)
  • U.S.: Nonfarm Payrolls, January 227 (forecast 175)
  • Eurozone: Consumer Confidence, January -4.9
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