European Stocks Drop as German Business Confidence Slips

European stocks fell for a third day as German business confidence dropped to the lowest level this year and data showed house sellers in U.S. cities are losing some of their pricing power.

Croda International Plc declined 9.1 percent after lowering its profit forecast. Altice SA dropped 3.8 percent after selling new stock. Syngenta advanced the most since October 2011 after people familiar with the matter said Monsanto Co. had considered taking over the Swiss company. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG rose 2.8 percent after UBS AG advised investors to buy shares in the world’s largest luxury-car maker.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.2 percent to 345.57 at the close of trading. The benchmark gauge is heading for a third monthly gain as the European Central Bank unveiled stimulus measures and the Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates low for a prolonged time.

“The fall in the Ifo is a signal that the eurozone’s growth engine is slowing down and German businesses are quite unimpressed by measures taken by the European Central Bank,” said Witold Bahrke, who helps oversee $55 billion as a senior strategist at PFA Asset Management in Copenhagen. “Signs that the European business cycle is peaking should dampen European equity performance going forward.”

In Germany, the Ifo institute’s business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, fell to 109.7 in June from 110.4 in May. Economists in a Bloomberg News survey predicted a drop to 110.3.

House Sellers

Property prices in 20 U.S. cities rose at a slower pace than forecast in the year ended in April, a report showed. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 10.8 percent from April 2013, the smallest 12-month gain in more than a year, after rising 12.4 percent in March.

The Conference Board’s U.S. consumer confidence index increased to 85.2 this month from a 82.2 last month, beating projections, another report showed.

National benchmark indexes retreated in 13 of the 18 western-European markets today. France’s CAC 40 added less than 0.1 percent and Germany’s DAX rose 0.2 percent. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 fell 0.2 percent.

Croda tumbled 9.1 percent to 2,188 pence. The world’s second-largest supplier of cosmetic ingredients said second-quarter pretax profit will fall 8 percent from the level in the first three months of the year. The company had earlier predicted profit would hold steady. Profit for the full year will also decline from 2013, Croda said.

Capital Increase

Altice slid 3.8 percent to 51 euros. Cable billionaire Patrick Drahi’s investment company sold 911 million euros ($1.24 billion) of new shares to help fund its stake increase in Numericable Group and cut debt.

ThromboGenics NV slumped 32 percent to 9.80 euros, its biggest loss since its initial public offering in 2006. The Belgian maker of the Jetrea eye drug ended an effort to sell itself and will seek a partner to help market the medicine in the U.S.

Aviva Plc retreated 1.1 percent to 504.5 pence after UBS downgraded the insurance company to neutral from buy.

Syngenta advanced 5.7 percent to 345.80 Swiss francs. Monsanto recently explored a takeover of Syngenta in a transaction that would have allowed the world’s largest seed company to move its tax location from the U.S. to Switzerland, the people said. The deal is now defunct, they said.

BMW climbed 2.8 percent to 94.10 euros. UBS upgraded the luxury automaker to buy from neutral, saying its investments in electric-car models confer a competitive advantage over its rivals.

Imagination Technologies Group Plc rose 7.7 percent to 251.5 pence after forecasting a high level of licensing activity and gains in shipment volumes in the year through April 2015.

CGG SA added 2.9 percent to 11.04 euros after Societe Generale SA upgraded the shares to buy from hold.

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