EU stocks lit­tle changed; ICAP falls, Vivendi rises

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

BRUSSELS

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.

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