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European stocks dropped for a third day, paring a monthly gain for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, as investors awaited U.S. economic reports and weighed the impact of Russian military involvement in the Ukraine conflict. U.S. index futures and Asian shares were little changed.
A U.S. report from the National Association of Realtors at 10 a.m. New York time may show that contracts to buy previously owned homes rose in January for the first time in eight months. A gauge of pending house sales increased 1.8 percent last month, after dropping in December by the most since May 2010, economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted.
Separate data may show the world’s largest economy expanded 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter, slower than a preliminary estimate of 3.2 percent, economists projected. Consumer spending grew 2.9 percent in the last three months of 2013, lower than an earlier estimate of 3.3 percent, they said. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumer Confidence Sentiment will stay at 81.2 in February, in line with a preliminary forecast, according to another survey.
In the U.K., a consumer-confidence index from GfK NOP Ltd. came in at minus 7 this month, the same level as in January, a release showed. That matched the median forecast economists in a Bloomberg News survey.
Erste Group Bank dropped 7.9 percent to 26.38 euros. Austria’s biggest bank expects operating profit to miss estimates this year.
Serco climbed 9 percent to 447.8 pence, its biggest increase since March 5, 2013. The outsourced-services provider appointed Aggreko Plc’s CEO Rupert Soames as its CEO with effect from June. 1. Aggreko lost 3 percent to 1,581 pence.
Old Mutual rose 4.7 percent to 195 pence. Africa’s biggest insurer acquired Intrinsic Financial Services Ltd. for an undisclosed sum. Intrinsic has 3,000 financial advisers and brings a broad distribution network.
FTSE 100 6,802.01 -8.26 -0.12%
CAC 40 4,374.14 -22.25 -0.51%
DAX 9,587.43 -0.90 -0.01%
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