Friday, 9 November 2012

European Stocks Decline as Credit Agricole Slides

By Tom Stoukas - Nov 9, 2012 1:01 PM GMT+0400

European (SXXP) stocks retreated, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index heading for its biggest weekly decline since September, as the Bank of France said that the euro area’s second-largest economy may contract in the fourth quarter. U.S. index futures were little changed, while Asian shares slid.
Credit Agricole dropped 3 percent after posting a wider third-quarter loss than analysts had estimated. Lafarge declined 1.6 percent after reporting earnings that met projections. Novo Nordisk A/S (NOVOB) rallied 9.9 percent as an advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration backed its insulin treatment.

European Stocks Are Little Changed as Lafarge Reports Earnings
Visitors sit and read newspapers beyond a reflection of Ibex stock index information inside the Madrid Stock Exchange in Madrid. Photographer: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg
The Stoxx 600 slid 0.2 percent to 269.98 at 8:59 a.m. inLondon, extending its retreat this week to 1.8 percent. The gauge has still rallied 15 percent from this year’s low on June 4 as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said he would do everything to protect the single currency and theFederal Reserve opted for a third round of asset purchases. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added less than 0.1 percent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 0.3 percent.
France’s central bank said that the country’s economy may shrink in the fourth quarter as a survey of business confidence held near a two-year low last month.
China’s National Bureau of Statistics said industrial production rose 9.6 percent in October from a year earlier, a faster pace than the 9.4 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Retail sales climbed 14.5 percent last month from a year earlier. Economists had projected a 14.4 percent gain.

Consumer Confidence

In the U.S., the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer-sentiment index climbed to 83 in November, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg before the preliminary report due at 9:55 a.m. New York time today. The October reading of 82.6 was the highest since September 2007.
Credit Agricole slid 3 percent to 5.74 euros. France’s third-largest bank posted a quarterly loss of 2.85 billion euros ($3.6 billion), wider than the 1.88 billion-euro average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The lender’s decision to sell its Emporiki Bank unit toGreece’s Alpha Bank SA cut total net income by 1.96 billion euros.
Lafarge declined 1.6 percent to 45.03 euros after reporting earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization that rose to 1.07 billion euros from 1.01 billion euros a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted Ebitda of 1.07 billion euros. The world’s biggest cement maker has rallied 66 percent this year.

Richemont, Aegon

Cie. Financiere Richemont SA dropped 1.9 percent to 63.05 Swiss francs. The world’s second-biggest luxury-goods company said that Chief Executive Officer Johann Rupert will stand down from his post in April. The owner of the Cartier brand also said that first-half profit beat analysts’ estimates on increased sales of jewelry to Asian tourists.
Aegon NV (AGN), the Dutch insurer which owns Transamerica Corp., fell 2.2 percent to 4.31 euros. The stock was downgraded to neutral from buy at Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit.
Novo Nordisk surged 9.9 percent to 951 kroner, its biggest rally in two years. A majority of advisers on the FDA panel said that the risks posed by the drug will probably prove insufficient to block its approval. The FDA has not told the world’s largest insulin maker when it will complete the review of the medicine, which is called Tresiba.
To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Stoukas in Athens at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at