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European Stocks Little Changed Before Italy Sells Debt

Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- European stocks were little changed after yesterday’s selloff, before Italy auctions as much as $5 billion worth of long-term debt today. U.S. futures were also little changed, while Asian shares fell.

Bouygues SA jumped 5.8 percent after the French builder reported full-year profit that topped forecasts. Swiss Life Holding AG surged 5.9 percent after the insurer posted a narrower-than-estimated loss.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.1 percent to 284.87 at 9:34 a.m. in London, extending the gauge’s advance this year to 1.9 percent. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures fell less than 0.1 percent today and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.3 percent.

The Stoxx 600 slid 1.3 percent yesterday after Italy’s inconclusive parliamentary election sent the country’s borrowing costs to the highest level in four months, renewing concern that the euro area’s debt crisis may deepen.

Italy will test markets today as it seeks to sell as much as 4 billion euros ($5 billion) of a new 10-year bond and 2.5 billion euros of a 5-year benchmark note.

In the U.S., the benchmark S&P 500 Index rose 0.6 percent amid better-than-estimated housing and consumer confidence data and as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke dismissed concerns that record easing risks sparking inflation or fueling asset price bubbles.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Jones in London at sjones35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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