European stocks decline, ignoring the positive impetus from major Asian markets. Meanwhile, oil prices surge amid escalating violence in Iraq which threatens to disrupt production and erupt into a full-scale war. The prospect of a sustained period of higher fuel prices weighs heavily on the continent’s major airlines, including International Consolidated Airlines Group, Easyjet and Ryanair in London, Deutsche Lufthansa in Germany and Air France KLM in Paris. Meanwhile U.K. home builders tumble on news of central bank action to calm the frothy housing market.

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