European Stocks Decline on Chinese Economic Growth ReportNamitha Jagadeesh
European stocks retreated, following their biggest weekly gain in a month, as China’s economy grew at a slower pace than estimated and a gauge of manufacturing in the New York area missed forecasts.
Randgold Resources Ltd. slumped 8.3 percent as gold headed for its biggest one-day plunge in 30 years. Publicis Groupe SA dropped the most in almost 18 months. Roche Holding AG added 2.7 percent after saying it will collaborate with Ascletis Inc. to sell one of its drugs in China.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.7 percent to 290.43 at the close in London. The benchmark measure gained 1.8 percent last week, its biggest rally since March 8. The gauge has still fallen 1.1 percent so far this month as reports on U.S. jobs and services missed economists’ estimates.
“The Chinese growth data is bad news, especially after the weak U.S. jobs data we saw,” said Jacques Porta, who helps manage about $776 million at Ofi Gestion Privee in Paris. “There is a worried atmosphere among investors because markets have already increased a lot. To see them go up again, we’ll need to see very good economic data and I don’t see that getting better in the next month.”
In China, gross domestic product rose 7.7 percent in the first quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics said in Beijing. That compared with the 8 percent median forecast by analysts in a Bloomberg News survey and the 7.9 percent pace in the fourth quarter. The country’s industrial production increased in March at a slower rate than economists had estimated, while retail-sales growth matched forecasts.
In the U.S., the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index slowed to 3.1 this month from 9.2 in March. Economists in a Bloomberg News survey had forecast it would drop to 7. Readings greater than zero mean that activity increased.
National benchmark indexes fell in all of the 18 western-European markets. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index lost 0.6 percent, France’s CAC 40 Index slid 0.5 percent, and Germany’s DAX Index lost 0.4 percent.
A gauge of raw-material companies in the Stoxx 600 sank to its lowest level since October 2011 as commodity prices tumbled. Citigroup Inc. lowered its price forecasts for aluminum, copper and nickel in a note today, saying it expects weakness from the first quarter to continue through the year.
Randgold plunged 8.3 percent to 4,545 pence and Fresnillo Plc, the world’s biggest primary silver producer, sank 15 percent to 1,080 pence. Silver slumped 10 percent in London trading. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, slid 3.6 percent to 1,824.5 pence and Rio Tinto Group, the second biggest, slipped 3.5 percent to 2,973 pence.
An index of banks on the Stoxx 600 retreated 0.7 percent as euro-area members disagreed over how to handle failed lenders. HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest bank, lost 1 percent to 681.4 pence. Societe Generale SA slipped 1.1 percent to 26.10 euros and Danske Bank A/S lost 1.9 percent to 104.40 kroner.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told the other 16 euro-area states at a meeting in Dublin on April 12-13 that there isn’t enough of a basis in the existing treaties for building a common banking authority and a fund for failures. Other nations, including France, Luxembourg and Denmark, have urged swift progress to put in place a resolution system.
Publicis dropped 5.2 percent to 51.56 euros after the world’s third-biggest advertising company called 2013 a difficult year and said first-quarter sales rose 1.3 percent to 1.56 billion euros ($2 billion). The revenue growth missed consensus estimates, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and CA Cheuvreux said in notes to investors.
Accor SA declined 4.2 percent to 25.62 euros after Credit Suisse Group AG downgraded Europe’s largest hotel operator to underperform, the equivalent of sell, from outperform, citing the increasing risk of disappointing first-quarter earnings.
Siemens AG retreated 1.8 percent to 79.38 euros after Rheinische Post reported on April 13 that underperforming rail technology and offshore wind projects will hurt the company’s quarterly earnings. The newspaper cited an interview with Chief Financial Officer Joe Kaeser. Guenter Gaugler, a spokesman at Siemens, confirmed the comments by phone.
Ladbrokes Plc sank 8 percent to 190.3 pence after the U.K. gambling company forecast 2013 operating profit at the lower end of analysts’ estimates because of weaker-than-projected trading in the first quarter. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey had predicted operating profit of 188 million pounds ($288 million) to 215 million pounds.
Roche gained 2.7 percent to 231.10 Swiss francs after announcing that the agreement with Ascletis will enable it to submit danoprevir to Chinese regulators by 2019. That’s sooner that would be possible without a partner, according to Roche’s head of Asia-Pacific.
United Utilities Plc climbed 2.5 percent to 739 pence after the Sunday Times reported that the U.K.’s biggest publicly-traded water company has hired Goldman Sachs as an adviser amid speculation of a 7 billion-pound takeover offer. The newspaper didn’t say where it got the information.