STOCKS declined yesterday as mining companies fell after manufacturing data missed economists’ estimates for the region and China.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index dropped 0.3 percent to 338.28 points at the close of trading. National equity indexes of Spain and Italy dropped the most among 18 western European markets.
A gauge of mining stocks fell to its lowest level this year, with iron ore producers BHP Billiton slipping 2.6 percent and Rio Tinto Group losing 2.6 percent. Anglo American fell 2.2 percent. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria dropped 5.5 percent after selling about 242 million new shares, dragging down Spain’s bourse by 1.6 percent.
“The European economy is still fragile, and the recovery has just run into the sand a little bit,” William Hobbs at Barclays’ wealth management unit said. “It feels difficult to get behind industrial metals. There’s still oversupply, and it doesn’t look like demand will pick up any time soon.” – Bloomberg