European Stocks Little Changed Before U.S. Housing Report


European stocks were little changed, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index heading for a fourth straight quarterly gain, as investors awaited data on U.S. home sales. U.S. index futures were little changed, while Asian shares rose.

Royal Philips NV climbed 3.6 percent after saying it will merge its LED-component and automotive-lighting units into a 1.4 billion-euro ($1.9 billion) stand-alone company. H. Lundbeck A/S fell the most in almost five months after saying its stroke treatment desmoteplase failed in a late-stage study.

The Stoxx 600 added less than 0.1 percent to 342.19 at 9:15 a.m. in London. The gauge has climbed 2.4 percent in the second quarter, for the longest stretch of gains since March 2010. It has dropped 0.6 percent in June as violence in Iraq and disappointing economic data from the U.S. offset European Central Bank’s stimulus measures. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slipped less than 0.1 percent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3 percent.

Data at 10 a.m. Washington time may show that Americans signed contracts to purchase previously owned homes at a faster pace in May. A report from the National Association of Realtors may show its index of pending home sales climbed 1.2 percent last month after a 0.4 percent increase in April, according to the median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

A release showed German retail sales in May fell 0.6 percent from the previous month. Economists had projected a 0.8 percent increase.

Philips Spinoff

Royal Philips climbed 3.6 percent to 23.05 euros, its biggest increase since Dec. 16. The world’s biggest lighting manufacturer said it will focus on connected LED-lighting systems and services, while exploring the strategic options to attract outside investment into the separated business. The transaction, to be completed in the first half of 2015, will cost about 30 million euros.

Lundbeck declined 6.2 percent to 138.20 kroner, its biggest drop since Feb. 6. The Danish drugmaker focused on neurological diseases said further development of the experimental stroke drug desmoteplase is under consideration after it failed in a late-stage study.


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