European shares extend recent losses, suffering from earnings

Tue Feb 4, 2014 3:57am EST

* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.7 pct

* ARM, KPN, BP all fall after results

* Data shows 45 percent of companies have missed estimates

* U.S. ISM data knocks global markets, raises jobs concern

By Alistair Smout

LONDON, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Disappointing earnings reports helped to extend a recent fall in European shares on Tuesday, as the equity market suffered growing unease over the state of both the U.S. and emerging market economies.

Top faller in Europe was chip designer ARM, down 4.5 percent after royalty revenue came in below forecasts.

Although this was offset by an increase in new licence sales to deliver broadly in-line results, analysts at Liberum raised concerns over the trend.

"We no longer think licensing is necessarily a driver of future royalties for ARM given that many licensees are just new entrants into already crowded markets such as smartphones," Liberum said in a note.

"Overall these results will continue to stoke fears of a further slowdown in ARM's royalty trends."

Dutch telecom KPN opened as much as 5.7 percent lower after reporting a lower than expected profit following a revenue squeeze, while BP dipped 1.2 percent after fourth quarter profits were hit by refining weakness.

Out of the 18 percent of companies on the DJ STOXX Europe 600 to have reported earnings so far, 45 percent of them have missed expectations, with the biggest negative surprises coming from the oil & gas and telecom sectors, Thomson Reuters data shows.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.7 percent at 1,264.31 by 0844 GMT, taking falls over the last eight trading sessions to 6.1 percent.

Recent concerns over emerging markets, which have seen currencies such as the Turkish lira and the South African rand tumble over the last fortnight, were compounded in the previous session by an unexpected drop in U.S. factory data.

The drop in the manufacturing survey hit European equities in late trade on Monday and Wall Street extended falls after the European market close, with Japan's Nikkei also down 4.2 percent on concerns about the U.S. economy.

The data raised fears among investors that Friday's closely watched non-farm payroll employment figure would sharply miss expectations in a repeat of December's disappointing reading.

Such a figure could reinforce worries that the U.S. Federal Reserve is slowing its stimulus programme too early for the economy to sustain a recovery, and investors said that trading would be cautious until then.

"Everyone is now looking to non farm payrolls, to see if December's number was a bit of a blip," Ioan Smith, director of KCG, said.

"We'll probably see a continuing trend (in European stocks) until we get something out of those numbers and get a better idea of whether the economic momentum is waning."

Europe bourses in 2014:

Asset performance in 2014:

Today's European research round-up