European stocks declined for a second week after an inconclusive election in Greece left political parties struggling to form a government, increasing speculation that the nation might fail to implement austerity measures.
European stocks fell this week on investor concern about Greece’s ability to implement austerity measures needed for a second rescue package, and as the European Commission said the euro area’s economy will shrink this year.
Investors in Swedish stocks may pocket the biggest dividend increases in western Europe this year as companies in the Nordic region’s largest economy avoid the austerity measures that are squeezing profits elsewhere.
European stocks closed little changed, erasing losses in the final hour of trading on better- than-forecast U.S. home sales data, as gains by food and health- care companies offset declines by basic-resource producers.
Eighty percent of Sweden’s biggest companies reported earnings that exceeded analysts’ estimates last quarter, indicating the largest Nordic economy may be headed for the biggest economic rebound in the European Union.