European shares extend losing run; miners bounce

Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:17am EDT

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.7 pct, Euro STOXX 50 down 0.8 pct

* Germany's ZEW signals sharp slide in investor morale

* LVMH's sales figures hurt luxury shares

* Earnings expectations still too high -Natixis's Peloille

By Blaise Robinson

PARIS, April 16 (Reuters) - European shares fell for the third straight day on Tuesday due to concerns about global growth, with Louis Vuitton owner LVMH a high profile loser after poor sales figures from its fashion and leather goods business.

Shares in the world's biggest luxury goods maker sank 3.5 percent to a five-month low, making them the biggest faller among European blue-chip stocks, while rivals PPR, Burberry and Richemont lost 1.3-2.8 percent.

At 1051 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.7 percent at 1,166.07 points, after losing 1.5 percent in the past two sessions.

The euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index slid 0.8 percent to 2,605.87 points, falling towards a strong support level at around 2,590, representing a positive trendline started last June.

Losses in Europe mirrored a sell-off on Wall Street on Monday, where the S&P 500 fell 2.3 percent on the back of worse than expected growth numbers from China and the shock of two bomb explosions at the Boston marathon.

Jitters about global economic growth were heightened on Tuesday by Germany's ZEW economic sentiment survey, which dropped sharply in April, signalling that the recent flare-up of the euro zone crisis was hitting Europe's largest economy.

"The recent pull-back in stocks is not bringing any entry points, because there's just no visibility. Even for the United States on which we've been more positive, the macro momentum is losing steam," Natixis investment strategist Benoit Peloille said.

"Today's ZEW highlights the fact that there's nothing to expect from Europe this year, and earnings forecasts for the region are still too optimistic. We think that profits will be down 4.5 percent on the year."

Corporate earnings in Europe are expected to grow by 6.3 percent in 2013, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Peloille said the abundant liquidity from central banks around the world has been preventing a sharper pull-back in stocks so far.

"It's a big support, although not enough to offset the bleak fundamentals. The situation for Europe shouldn't change much before September when we will have elections in Germany and probably a new vote in Italy."

Around Europe, the UK's FTSE 100 index was down 0.6 percent, Germany's DAX index down 0.7 percent, and France's CAC 40 lower by 0.7 percent.

Bucking the negative trend, the basic resources sector rebounded following a 6.5 percent drop in two sessions, recovering along with a number of metal prices such as copper . Randgold added 5.3 percent and Fresnillo climbed 4 percent, although traders warned the technical rebound was fuelled by short covering.

Despite the day's rebound, the basic resources sector is still down 17.4 percent in 2013, by far the worst performance among European sectors, dragged by a sharp drop in commodity prices in recent weeks.

"If you look at the 'glass half full', this drop in commodities certainly reflects worries about global growth, but at some point this will boost corporate profit margins of companies using commodities, and should also help consumer spending," Barclays France director Franklin Pichard said.

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