LONDON Feb 5 European shares were set to fall for a fourth
straight session on Wednesday, with concerns about earnings and the pace of
global economic recovery prompting investors to further trim their equity
exposure ahead of some risk events.
At 0731 GMT, futures for the Euro STOXX 50, Britain's FTSE 100
, Germany's DAX and France's CAC were 0.3 to 0.5 percent
The spotlight will be on the euro zone's retail sales and services PMI data
and results from companies such as GlaxoSmithKline on Wednesday, the
European Central Bank's interest rate decision on Thursday and widely-watched
U.S. non-farm payrolls data on Friday.
The events could set the market's near-term direction after recent sharp
declines following some disappointing economic numbers from the United States
and China and on growth concerns in emerging markets, which have witnessed
capital outflows and weaker currencies after a further cut in U.S. stimulus.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which has fallen in seven
out of the past nine sessions, is already down 6.7 percent since hitting a
5-1/2-year high two weeks ago.
The fourth quarter earnings season has been unable to provide a boost to the
market so far as several heavyweight companies have disappointed investors in
the recent past.
In the latest company statement, Syngenta said on Wednesday it
planned to step up its focus on costs after the world's largest maker of crop
chemicals reported a 11 percent drop in full-year profit.
Syngenta results came in a day after shares in Dutch telecoms group KPN
fell about 5 percent after its profits missed expectations, while chip
designer ARM Holdings fell nearly 6 percent after reporting a smaller
than expected rise in fourth-quarter royalty revenues due to a slowdown in
demand for some branded smartphones.
"Earnings growth in Europe has been negative over the last two years. If
earnings do not improve during the next months, 2014 will prove to be a
difficult year for the stock market," Koen De Leus, senior economist at KBC, in
According to StarMine SmartEstimates, which focus on up-to-date predictions
of the historically most accurate analysts, STOXX Europe 600 companies are on
average seen missing consensus quarterly profit forecasts by 1.4 percent.
Europe bourses in 2014:
Asset performance in 2014:-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Asia shares falter, unable to shake jitters
> Wall St bounces back as bargain hunters move in
> Nikkei hands back gains, falls below 14,000 for 1st time since Oct
> Yields rise from three-month lows as T-bills volatile
> Yen firmer but below 11-week highs as EM tensions cool; Aussie slips
> Gold extends losses as stocks rebound; physical demand weak
> London copper edges up after snapping 9-session losing streak
> Brent nudges up near $106; fall in Cushing stocks buoy US crude
The world's largest maker of crop chemicals said on Wednesday it plans to
step up its focus on costs as it reported a 11 percent drop in full-year
Swatch Group said it expects healthy growth this year after watch
and jewelry sales helped net profit rise more than 20 percent in 2013.
The cable company stuck with its full-year outlook after posting a 3.7
percent increase in quarterly revenues as it added more internet and phone
The German sportswear maker sued Under Armour Inc in a U.S. court
over alleged infringement of patents governing fitness training and tracker
devices, a court filing showed.
The company's Pimco Total Return Fund, the world's largest bond fund,
extended last year's record net outflows with investors pulling $3.5 billion
from the fund in January, Morningstar data showed on Tuesday.
The Swedish banking group proposed on Wednesday an extraordinary dividend as
fourth-quarter operating profit landed above expectations.
The Swedish banking group reported on Wednesday a stronger-than-expected
rise in fourth-quarter operating profit as it proposed a dividend well above
Deutsche Bank has fired three New York-based currency traders, in the latest
sign that a probe over alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets is
gathering steam, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Europe's biggest property group said on Tuesday its 2013 rental income rose
2.7 percent to 1.35 billion euros as stronger revenues from well-positioned
shopping malls helped exceed profit targets despite the region's weak economic
The European aerospace company said it would add a new Airbus Helicopters
production line at its Ontario facility.
The French reinsurer said on Wednesday that property-and-casualty premiums
grew 5 pct during the January renewals period, alongside "stable" profitability
The French supplier of marine services to the energy industry said 2013
revenue grew 10.5 percent to 1.3 billion euros.
The telecommunications firm is interested in buying a majority of Telekom
Slovenije, German daily Handelsblatt reported on Wednesday, citing
government sources in Slovenia.
Volkswagen is considering raising its stake in Swedish truck maker Scania
, the Wall Street Journal's website reported late on Tuesday, citing