Stocks

European shares drop as earnings flurry fails to lift sentiment

Reuters London | Updated on February 22, 2018 Published on February 22, 2018

Most European bourses and sectors were falling and at 0834 GMT on Thursday, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.7 per cent.

European shares retreated in early trading as a flurry of corporate results fail to lift sentiment after a new wave of speculation about faster hikes in US interest rates hit Wall Street and Asia and soured risk appetite globally.

Most European bourses and sectors were falling and at 0834 GMT on Thursday, the pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.7 per cent.

Barclays was the best performing stock among blue-chips, rising 5.8 per cent after it pledged to restore its full dividend with a payout of 6.5 pence per share in 2018. The British bank's earnings come a day after Lloyds’ results boosted optimism for the sector.

In the currently unpopular utilities sectors, France’s Veolia jumped 3.3 per cent after reporting an acceleration of growth in early 2018. Double-digit international growth and a recovery in France boosted 2017 core earnings.

Top UK energy supplier Centrica, which issued a profit warning in November, rose 3.1 per cent after it raised its cost saving target by 500 million pounds and said it would cut about 4,000 jobs by 2020.

Other blue-chip companies made gains after publishing their results, such as Belgian pharmaceutical group UCB up 4.4 per cent and French chemical group Arkema, which rose 3.6 per cent.

In sharp contrast to the positive share price reaction to Glencore’s upbeat results on Wednesday, Anglo American fell 3.3 per cent after presenting its 2007 results.

Published on February 22, 2018
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