The Star Early Edition - - MARKETS -

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

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