EU stocks little changed; ICAP falls, Vivendi rises
European stocks were little changed, paring earlier losses, following a late-day selloff in US equity benchmarks, and as companies from ICAP Plc (IAP) to Vivendi (VIV) SA reported earnings. US index futures rose, while Asian shares were little changed.
ICAP dropped 5.5 percent after the world's largest broker of transactions between banks reported a slump in earnings. Mediaset SpA declined 4.1 percent after the broadcaster cut its full-year profit forecast. Vivendi climbed 4.3 percent after it said earnings will fall less this year than it had expected.
EDF may move after the world's biggest operator of nuclear reactors cut its annual target for French atomic-energy output for the second time this year and said profit may be little changed in 2013.
The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index retreated 0.1 percent to 270.27 at 8:51 a.m. in London, paring yesterday's gain. Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures climbed 0.7 percent, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1 percent.
"The market is still preoccupied with the same things -Greece and the negotiations going on there, Spain keeps bubbling along in the background as to when they will ask for a bailout and the U.S. fiscal cliff," said Andrea Williams, head of European equities at Royal London Asset Management which oversees about $1 billion. "We are also coming towards the tail end of the reporting season in Europe, you've had a few disasters but generally they have been there or thereabouts."
The Stoxx 600 erased losses in the final hour of trading yesterday amid speculation Spain's government will soon ask for a bailout. The gauge has still lost 1.6 percent since the re- election of President Barack Obama on Nov. 6 as investors' attention turned to the so-called US fiscal cliff and Europe's debt crisis.
US stocks fell yesterday, halting a two-day gain in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, as concern about the federal budget debate erased a rally led by Home Depot Inc. Asian shares were little changed today as China's once-in-adecade meeting to choose new leaders draws to a close.
Investors await European and US economic data today. Euro-region industrial production, scheduled for release at 11 a.m. in Luxembourg, fell 2 percent in September, according to the median economist forecast. That follows a 0.6 percent increase the previous month.
In the US, a report today will probably show retail sales fell in October by 0.2 percent, the first decline in four months, according to the median forecast of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
UK jobless claims rose at the fastest pace in more than a year and job creation slowed. Jobless-benefit claims rose to 10,100 million to 1.58 million in October, the biggest increase since September last year, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. The median of 28 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was for no change.
Profit has topped analysts' forecasts at 52 percent of the companies on the Stoxx 600 that have reported earnings since Oct. 9, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue has beaten estimates at 53 percent of companies, down from 60 percent in the previous quarter, the data shows.