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Europe: Shares down for second straight day

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[LONDON] European equities continued their slide after halting a two-day rebound.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.7 per cent at 8.19 am in London, with more than 500 of its members down. The gauge fell on Wednesday after its biggest two-day gain in two weeks. Germany's DAX Index dropped the most among western-European markets, with Deutsche Telekom AG leading it down 0.8 per cent.

The Stoxx 600 has struggled to keep its rebound going after rising as much as 16 per cent from its February low. Even with signs that the economy is improving amid aggressive European Central Bank stimulus, the gauge closed 5.8 per cent down for the year on Wednesday. While a Citigroup Inc index tracking the number of corporate profit upgrades versus downgrades turned positive for the first time since last year, analysts are still projecting a 3.2 per cent decline in earnings this year.

Among stocks moving on corporate news, Seadrill Ltd fell 6.4 per cent after saying it will issue 7.5 million new shares in exchange for debt. British manufacturer Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc lost 2.7 per cent after Chief Executive Officer Warren East told employees that the company needs to step up efforts to recover a waning delivery schedule. Essentra Plc tumbled 26 per cent after the supplier of plastic products said it probably won't be able to achieve the financial results it predicted in February.


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