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European stocks were little changed, after closing at a one-month low, as a slump in Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc led retailers lower. U.S. stock-index futures and Asian shares climbed.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.2 percent to 328.58 at 9:34 a.m. in London. The gauge declined 1.1 percent yesterday amid stake sales in companies, while Russia and Ukraine continued a standoff over Crimea. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added 0.3 percent, and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2 percent.
A Commerce Department report at 8:30 a.m. Washington time may show that sales at U.S. retailers climbed 0.2 percent in February after a 0.4 percent drop the previous month, according to the median economist forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.
Separate data will probably show that initial jobless claims rose to 330,000 in the week ended March 8 from 323,000 in the earlier period, economists said before the report.
Morrison slumped 6.3 percent to 218.4 pence. The smallest of the U.K.’s four main grocers said it will sell 1 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) in property over the next three years after forecasting a third straight decline in pretax profit. Earnings may drop to as little as 325 million pounds this year, the company said as it posted a 13 percent drop in underlying pretax profit for the year ended Feb. 2.
Adecco lost 6.9 percent to 73.20 Swiss francs. Jacobs Holding AG sold 30.2 million shares for 71.50 francs each. Adecco jumped 4.5 percent yesterday after posting profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates.
Lufthansa advanced 5.4 percent to 18.88 euros. Europe’s second-largest airline said it will pay a dividend of 0.45 euros a share. Operating profit in 2013 fell to 697 million euros, in line with the company’s forecast of 600 million euros to 700 million euros, and exceeding the 662 million-euro average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg.
FTSE 100 6,610.59 -10.31 -0.16%
CAC 40 4,303.91 -2.35 -0.05%
DAX 9,204.64 +15.95 +0.17%
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