European stocks fell the most in three weeks, with German, Italian and Portuguese gauges leading declines.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.8 percent to 410.93 at the close of trading in London. Germany’s DAX Index, Portugal’s PSI 20 Index and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index slipped at least 1.8 percent. Chemical companies fell the most of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600.

Diageo Plc fell 3.6 percent after saying sales unexpectedly slipped in the third quarter as business deteriorated across Europe, Asia and Latin America. Unilever advanced 2.6 percent after the maker of Magnum ice cream reported first-quarter sales growth that beat estimates. Renault SA rose 2.9 percent, for the biggest gain among automakers.

The Stoxx 600 has rallied 20 percent this year. It ended Wednesday at a fresh peak after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said monetary policy is helping the economic recovery and quantitative easing will continue until there’s a sustained improvement in inflation.

Source : Bloomberg