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European stocks slide for a fourth day on underwhelming results

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[LONDON] Disappointing results from companies including ABB Ltd. and ASM International NV dragged European stocks lower.

ABB fell 6.4 per cent after reporting a decline in orders, seen as an indication of future sales. ASM dropped 5.2 per cent after the semiconductor company posted a drop in third-quarter sales. Deutsche Bank AG rose as much as 3.4 per cent at the open after it unexpectedly returned to profit, before trading 0.4 per cent higher.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.4 per cent at 8:18 am in London. The benchmark is down 0.7 per cent in October, heading for its first back-to-back monthly drop since the start of the year.

Earnings are in focus this week, with more than 100 companies in the Stoxx 600 reporting. Weaker-than-forecast results are unraveling gains that took the benchmark to a two-week high on Oct 20. The rally had been spurred by optimism the European Central Bank will extend its bond-buying program.

Market voices on:

Speculation about the future of ECB stimulus and the timing of the Federal Reserve's next interest-rate increase have weighed on stocks, keeping them in a tight range for the past two months. The Stoxx 600 trades below its level on the day of the UK's secession vote, after briefly rising above it in September.

Among other shares active on corporate news: Fingerprint Cards AB tumbled 7.2 per cent as the biometric-sensor maker reported worse-than-estimated quarterly profit.

Volkswagen AG climbed 1.6 per cent after saying it expects 2016 profit to be at the upper end of its target range Technip SA rose 4.5 per cent as it posted results that topped projections STMicroelectronics NV gained 5.6 per cent after its forecast for fourth-quarter gross margin exceeded estimates.