* FTSEurofirst 300 flat at 1,281.63
* Delayed U.S. nonfarm payrolls due at 1230 GMT
* Earnings remain key after market rerating
* Lufthansa leads airlines lower as outlook disappoints
* Royalty worries weigh on ARM Holdings
* Gjensidige beats forecast, announces special dividend
By David Brett
LONDON, Oct 22 Mixed results on a big day for
corporate earnings halted European equity markets near five-year
highs on Tuesday, as investors awaited delayed U.S. jobs data.
Concerns are mounting over earnings which have so far failed
to keep up with recent rerating of equity indexes.
By 1000 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 was unchanged at
1,281.63. The broader STOXX 600 also was unchanged at
319.48, after eight straight days of gains.
Due at 1230 GMT, U.S. non-farm payrolls are expected to have
increased by 180,000 in September, a step up from August's gain
of 169,000, according to a Reuters poll.
The numbers, held up by the U.S. government shutdown, are
now out of date and traders said it was unclear how much of an
impact the figures would have on equity markets.
"Because of what has happened to equity markets in the
interim and the fact that ... we have had a government shutdown
since the figures were first due for release, we are in a
completely different environment," Toby Morris, Senior Sales
Trader at CMC markets said.
"No one really knows what to take from it. To our clients
the most important thing is the wind down of stimulus in the
U.S. and we are unlikely to get much clarity on that from the
Equities have rallied since last week's debt deal in
Washington as well as on expectations that, because the U.S.
debt crisis has not been resolved, the Federal Reserve will wait
longer before scaling back its stimulus programme.
The Stoxx 600 now trades a forward 12-month
price-to-earnings of 13.29 times against an 10-year average of
12 times, according to Datastream.
"There has been a massive risk de-rating - certainly in
Europe over the past year - which has been taken lower with the
agreement in the United States. Even so, we are getting
concerned with valuations and that earnings are not kicking
through," Chris Parkinson, head of equity strategy at
Christopher Street Capital, said.
Germany's Lufthansa fell 2.3 percent after it
issued a disappointing profit forecast for 2013, dragging down
peers IAG and easyJet.
Chip designer ARM Holdings, whose technology is used
in Apple's mobiles, fell 4.5 percent despite licensing demand
delivering a third-quarter beat as concerns lingered over
royalty weakness, according to analysts.
An overshoot in recovery expectations prompted UBS to
double-downgrade ArcelorMittal to "sell" from "buy".
The steelmaker slipped 2.3 percent.
Of the 18 companies in the STOXX 600 that have so far
reported third quarter earnings, 61 percent have beaten analyst
But overall, earnings of companies in the index are expected
to decline 1.4 percent this quarter, compared with an average
9.7 percent gain a year ago.
However, Norwegian insurer Gjensidige rallied 7.1
percent after announcing third quarter earnings that beat
forecasts and a surprise special dividend, while Swedbank
, Sweden's second largest bank by value, climbed 4.6
percent after operating profit beat forecasts.
UK consumer goods firm Reckitt Benckiser Group rose
4.6 percent after reporting higher revenues and saying it was
reviewing options for its pharmaceuticals unit.