Withdrawals from U.S.-based ETFs investing in emerging- market equities and bonds totaled $11.3 billion this year, already surpassing the redemption of $8.8 billion for the whole 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Funds investing in European assets added $5 billion in the first two months of 2014, compared with $18 billion full-year inflows in 2013.
The S&P GSCI index of 24 commodities retreated 0.4 percent as natural gas futures fell to a five-week low in New York. The heating fuel headed for the biggest weekly drop in 17 years after a government report showed a U.S. stockpile decline that was less than forecasts.
Copper dropped to the lowest in more than three weeks in New York amid concern that the economic recovery in the U.S. may falter at a time when growth in China is slowing.
Sugar futures entered a bull market, climbing more than 20 percent from a January low, as dry weather threatens crop yields in Brazil, the world’s top producer and exporter.
Trading volume in the Stoxx 600 was in line with the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
WPP Plc, the world’s largest advertising company, lost 3.5 percent. Allianz SE, Europe’s biggest insurer, slid 2.3 percent. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc fell 7.7 percent after posting its biggest full-year loss since receiving a government bailout in 2008.
Man Group Plc jumped 14 percent after the world’s largest publicly traded hedge fund said assets rose 3 percent in the fourth quarter and it will buy back $115 million of stock. Veolia Environnement SA climbed 8.2 percent after the biggest European water and waste company said it aims to increase adjusted operating cash flow by 10 percent and post “significant growth” in profit this year.
Government bonds rose across the euro area amid signs of slowing inflation, which boosts the value of payments on fixed- income assets.
The yield on Italy’s 10-year bond fell eight basis points to 3.46 percent, and the rate on Germany’s bunds dropped five basis points to 1.56 percent. Ireland’s 10-year securities advanced for a 10th day, pushing the yield seven basis points lower to 3.08 percent, the least since 2005. Portugal’s two-year note yield declined 19 basis points to 1.70 percent before the nation buys back bonds due in October 2014 and October 2015.