* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.5 percent
* Tech stocks weak after Google results miss
* Aggreko drops 7.8 percent, warns on profit
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, Oct 19 European shares fell back on
Friday, though remained within striking distance of the year's
highs, as unexpectedly weak results from U.S. tech bellwether
Google bruised investor sentiment.
Tech stocks felt the pinch, with Google having tumbled 8
percent on Thursday after quarterly results that missed analyst
expectations as its core advertising business slowed.
Of the S&P 500 companies to have reported so far, 24
percent have undershot forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters
Starmine, though Thursday's earnings were not yet factored into
Among weak European tech issues, Nokia fell 1.7
percent, STMicroelectronics shed 3.2 percent, and SAP
slipped 0.1 percent.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.5 percent at
1,114.83 by 1111 GMT, holding below the 2012 peak of 1,122.76
reached mid-September following the launch of a third round of
stimulus by the U.S. central bank.
"If the market can withstand major companies disappointing,
it gives you an idea that the underlying market is strong,"
Philippe Gijsels, head of research at BNP Paribas Fortis Global
Markets in Brussel, said.
"It's not the cycle of individual companies that's driving
things - it's really the monetary cycle."
European leaders took a step towards establishing a single
banking supervisor for the euro zone on Friday, agreeing it
would come into force next year, paving the way for the bloc's
rescue fund to inject capital directly into ailing banks.
"It's a positive but it's not something that's a very much
unexpected positive. It is something that was agreed in June
already... we are just walking the path to get there," Gerhard
Schwarz, head of equity strategy at Baader Bank, said.
Aggreko headed the list of fallers on the
FTSEurofirst 300, down 7.8 percent in high trading volume, after
the temporary power provider downgraded its 2012 profit outlook
due to provisions for bad debts and adverse exchange rates.
Capital expenditure in the first half of 2013 will be below
2012 as a result of the weakening economic outlook in many of
its markets, as well as the need to absorb the fleet it built
for the London Olympics, it said.
"We believe Aggreko continues to manage its business
cautiously (the group has to date never had a material bad debt)
and we would remain hopeful of some unwind to this bad debt
provision, but this now seems unlikely to occur during the
remainder of 2012," brokers at Espirito Santo said.
Volume in the stock stood at almost five times its 90-day
daily average, against the FTSEurofirst 300 at around half of
its 90-day daily average.