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European stocks decline, ending best winning streak since July

[LONDON] European stocks fell for the first time in seven days as commodity producers reversed early gains and ended their longest rally since 2000.

Glencore Plc slipped 6.2 per cent, erasing an advance of 5.2 per cent. Kynikos Associates LP founder Jim Chanos hinted that he is short the stock. Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc and Safran SA lost 3.9 per cent or more after a report that European regulators have started a probe into whether airlines are being forced to enter anti-competitive service contracts.

TheStoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.3 per cent to 361.79 at the close of trading, erasing an intraday gain of as much as 0.3 per cent. The gauge climbed 4.3 per cent last week, following its worst quarterly slide since 2011, as investors speculated the Federal Reserve won't rush to raise rates and commodity producers rallied.

"The market did quite well in the last few days and needs a break" said Christian Zogg, head of equity and fixed income at LLB Asset Management in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. "Now the reporting season is kicking in and investors will have an eye on that for sure." Companies including SAP SE, Daimler AG and ABB Ltd. are among those scheduled to report results this month.

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The volume of Stoxx 600 shares changing hands today was 21 per cent lower than the 30-day average. While US exchanges remain open, trading may be lighter because of the Columbus Day federal holiday.

Investors are also watching central-bank activity for signs of support for the global economy. While March is the first month for which traders are pricing in at least even odds of a US rate liftoff, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said over the weekend that there's still a case for rates to rise by the end of the year.

Among stocks active on corporate news, Novozymes A/S slid 3.9 per cent after Goldman Sachs Group Inc downgraded the shares to sell from buy, citing potential for disappointing sales growth.

German utilities RWE AG and E.ON SE rose at least 5 per cent after the economy ministry said they have enough funds to pay for the shutdown and cleanup of nuclear power plants.

Stora Enso Oyj jumped 6.3 per cent after the papermaker's third-quarter profit came in above its own forecast. TDC A/S rallied 6 per cent after raising mobile-phone subscription prices. Carmakers were the best performers among Stoxx 600 industry groups. BMW AG and Renault SA added 1.7 per cent or more.