European stocks fell for the fourth time in five days amid concern Greece may not reach an accord with creditors before a payment due next week.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.5 percent to 406.83 at the close of trading, paring a drop of as much as 1 percent. All but two of 19 industry groups slipped. The gauge is still heading for its best monthly advance since February.
The Stoxx 600 extended a decline after an official said the International Monetary Fund believes Greece may need debt relief and is far apart from creditors on debt talks. The country’s government said yesterday it’s nearing an accord with creditors, fueling a stock rally, only to have European officials rebuff those claims later at a meeting of the Group of Seven finance chiefs.
“The mixed messages are all part of the political game,” Allan von Mehren, chief analyst at Danske Bank A/S, said by phone from Copenhagen. “It means we can expect sentiment to swing back and forth until we really get to crunch time on Greece, and I don’t think we’ll get a deal until the very last day. Markets will be quite volatile as everyone tries to read the signals.”
While Greece isn’t on the G-7’s official agenda, it has dominated policy makers’ public comments, with a payment due to the IMF at the end of next week. Failure to reach a deal may drive yields higher on other euro-area government bonds, the European Central Bank said. The ASE Index slid 1.7 percent from its highest level since March.
ArcelorMittal and Voestalpine AG declined at least 2.1 percent, dragging miners lower. BMW AG and Daimler AG paced losses among auto shares, dropping more than 1.7 percent.
Among shares active on corporate news, Seadrill Ltd. retreated 6.5 percent after saying second-quarter earnings will decline from the previous period. Tate & Lyle Plc slid 2.4 percent after forecasting 2016 pretax profit that missed estimates.
Infineon Technologies AG jumped 3.2 percent, leading gains in semiconductor companies, after Avago Technologies Ltd. agreed to buy Broadcom Corp. in the industry’s biggest acquisition.
Piraeus Bank SA advanced 4.6 percent after reporting a smaller quarterly loss than analysts estimated. Sports Direct International Plc added 4.2 percent after the British retailer said annual profit exceeded forecasts. JCDecaux SA added 2.3 percent after offering to buy back shares.