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Euro-zone Oct. composite PMI falls to 28 month low *PIC*

Euro-zone Oct. composite PMI falls to 46.5 (by William L. Watts)

FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- The October composite purchasing managers index for the euro zone fell to a 28-month low at 46.5 in October from 49.1 in September, signaling that private-sector activity contracted more sharply than initially estimated, Markit reported Friday. An earlier preliminary estimate put the index at 47.2 for October. A reading of less than 50 signals a contraction in activity. The survey points to a 0.5% quarterly contraction in euro-zone gross domestic product in October, "suggesting a strong likelihood that the economy could contract in the fourth quarter unless business picks up markedly in November," said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.