Global stocks de­cline on UK man­u­fac­tur­ing


Euro­pean stocks de­clined, fol­low­ing nine months of gains for the Stoxx Europe 600 In­dex, as mea­sures of man­u­fac­tur­ing in the U.K. and China dropped. U.S. in­dex fu­tures and Asian shares were lit­tle changed.

Bel­ga­com SA sank to the low­est price since its ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing in 2004 af­ter its forecast for 2013 missed pro­jec­tions. Rio Tinto Group slid 2.6 per­cent af­ter a per­son close to the mat­ter said it plans to sell its Cana­dian iron-ore op­er­a­tions. Thales SA (HO) jumped the most in 13 years af­ter post­ing full-year profit that beat an­a­lysts' pro­jec­tions.

The Stoxx 600 dropped 0.4 per­cent to 288.88 at 9:47 a.m. in Lon­don, par­ing the gauge's ad­vance this week to 0.1 per­cent, which would be its sec­ond con­sec­u­tive gain. The eq­uity bench­mark has still risen 3.3 per­cent this year as U.S. law­mak­ers agreed on a bud­get avoid­ing au­to­matic fis­cal changes that had threat­ened to push the world's big­gest econ­omy into re­ces­sion.

Fu­tures on the Stan­dard & Poor's 500 In­dex slipped 0.2 per­cent. U.S. stocks erased their ad­vance in the fi­nal min­utes of trad­ing yes­ter­day af­ter the Se­nate voted to keep $85 bil­lion of spend­ing cuts in place. The MSCI Asia Pa­cific In­dex in­creased less than 0.1 per­cent to­day. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama has sum­moned con­gres­sional lead­ers to the White House to­day to dis­cuss the coun­try's bud­get talks. No ad­di­tional U.S. con­gres­sional ac­tion is planned be­fore the start of the cuts to­day, which will be split be­tween de­fense and non­de­fense spend­ing.

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