Sun, Apr 13, 2014 - Page 15 News List

EU stocks see worst week of the month due to global selloff


European stocks posted their worst weekly slump in a month amid a global rout that sent technology shares tumbling.

ARM Holdings PLC, the semiconductor company whose designs power Apple Inc’s iPhone and iPad, dropped 3.8 percent, as Suedzucker AG sank the most since at least 1998 after forecasting annual profit and sales that missed estimates.

Countering the sliding trend was LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, which added 5.7 percent as the world’s largest luxury goods company posted the fastest growth in fashion and leather goods sales in two years.

The Europe STOXX 600 Index declined 3.1 percent this week — the most since March 14 — to 328.77 as technology shares triggered a slide in US equities and concern grew that valuations were stretched. European shares’ slide comes after they reached a six-year high last week.

“If we’re trying to tease out what it was about this week, it could be a sense of following where the US is going and also there have been some questions about some of these heroic valuations,” Standard Life Investments Ltd strategist Frances Hudson said in Edinburgh. “The market has decided to be more discriminating.”

The STOXX 600 traded at a high of 14.8 times estimated earnings on April 4, compared with a five-year average of 12.3, data compiled by Bloomberg show. This week’s decline took its valuation to 14.4.

Industrial goods companies and miners dropped this week. Chinese imports unexpectedly tumbled last month, falling 11 percent last month from a year earlier, the China’s General Administration of Customs reported. The median economist estimate had called for a gain of 3.9 percent.

Benchmark indices fell in every Western European market this week, except for Iceland. Germany’s DAX retreated 3.9 percent, while the UK’s FTSE 100 slid 2 percent and France’s CAC 40 lost 2.7 percent.

A gauge of technology shares in the STOXX 600 declined 4.1 percent. ARM Holdings dropped 3.8 percent, United Internet AG slumped 12 percent, Logitech International SA, the world’s biggest maker of computer mice, slid 9.2 percent and Infineon Technologies AG — Europe’s second-largest semiconductor maker — retreated 6.9 percent.

Banks and travel and leisure stocks dropped the most among 19 of the index’s industry groups this week. Societe Generale SA lost 8.2 percent, while British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group SA sank 11 percent.

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