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European stocks declined, following their biggest annual advance since 2009, as utilities dropped, while a measure of manufacturing in the euro zone matched economists’ estimates. Asian shares also retreated.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.3 percent to 327.36 at 9:22 a.m. in London after earlier rising as much as 0.3 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index declined 0.7 percent after the Chinese government’s manufacturing gauge showed output in the world’s second-biggest economy expanded in December at a slower pace than economists had forecast.
Global equities soared by $9.6 trillion in 2013 as central-bank bond buying helped the U.S. economy gain momentum, while the euro area emerged from recession. European stocks rallied 17 percent in 2013. Their biggest increase since 2009 sent the Stoxx Europe 600 Index to 15.4 times its constituents’ projected earnings, up from 12.7 times at the beginning of 2013.
Final readings today confirmed that manufacturing in the euro zone expanded last month at the fastest pace since May 2011, while output in Germany, the currency bloc’s largest economy, expanded for a sixth consecutive month. In the U.S., the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index probably slipped in December from its highest level in more than two years, economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected. The ISM publishes the data at 10 a.m. New York time.
RWE AG slipped 1.7 percent after Handelsblatt reported that the German utility may ask shareholders to give it the option to raise capital.
CGG SA slipped 1.6 percent after UBS AG lowered its rating on the surveyor of oilfields.
Fiat SpA rallied the most in more than four years after the carmaker agreed to buy the remaining stake in Chrysler Group LLC, enabling the Italian and U.S. companies to merge.
FTSE 100 6,713.2 -35.89 -0.53%
CAC 40 4,245.99 -49.96 -1.16%
DAX 9,496.03 -56.13 -0.59%
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