European stocks retreated for a third day as Libya cracked down on anti-government protests amid continuing political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, overshadowing a jump in U.S. consumer confidence.
European stocks tumbled by the most in four months amid concern that China will have to take measures to cool inflation and as Ireland held talks over a financial rescue amid the resurgent debt crisis.
European stocks rallied, snapping four days of losses for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, as investors speculated that the economy will avoid another recession. BP Plc rallied 2.1 percent after saying its Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico has been permanently sealed. Brit Insurance N.V. jumped 4.1 percent after Apollo Global Management teamed up with CVC Capital Partners Ltd. to make a sweetened offer for the company. SGS SA rose to a record.
German stocks fell as Chancellor Angela Merkel said joint euro bonds would send a “completely wrong signal,” offsetting a report showing business confidence in Europe’s biggest economy unexpectedly rose in November.