* FTSEurofirst 300 down 0.1 percent
* Equity markets steady after sharp Ukraine-led moves
* Subsea 7 falls as Q4 earnings, outlook disappoint
* Adidas falls; sees hit from EM currency swings
By Tricia Wright
LONDON, March 5 European shares were steady on
Wednesday as Washington and Moscow were set to hold talks to
ease tension over Ukraine, but companies Subsea 7 and Adidas
suffered after downbeat results.
The FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.1 percent at
1,344.21 points after two days of sharp swings.
Oil services supplier Subsea 7 fell 5.6 percent,
the top faller on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 in brisk
trade. It said it expected a fall in its order backlog in the
first half of 2014 after posting quarterly earnings below
Subsea 7 had traded just over its 90-day daily average
volume after only an hour's trade, against the FTSEurofirst 300
on less than a quarter.
German sporting goods retailer Adidas fell 0.7
percent after warning its 2014 results would take a significant
hit from weakening emerging market currencies such as Russia's
Trading volume in Adidas stood at 1-1/2 times its 90-day
Recent weakness in emerging markets, which has hit a number
of European multinationals including Nestle and AB
InBev, could hamper the keenly awaited European
earnings recovery, but it was seen as unlikely to derail it.
"Emerging market weakness obviously continues to be a broad
concern for the global market recovery. That being said, U.S.
markets made an all-time high last night... so I'd be hesitant
to attribute too much weakness to emerging market concerns
purely because when we have a good news day, they're quickly
forgotten," Matt Basi, head of sales trading at CMC Markets,
Results have been good compared with analyst expectations,
with 56 percent of companies reporting profits in line or higher
than forecasts, Thomson Reuters Starmine data shows.
Besides this, surveys of business such as the Purchasing
Managers' Indexes are upbeat. Germany's private sector in
February enjoyed its fastest rate of expansion in almost three
years, a business survey showed on Wednesday.
"My view is that domestic demand and demand from the
developed economies is going to be the key... if we're going to
see genuine growth from blue-chip names in Europe," Basi said.
European stocks surged on Tuesday, reversing a big portion
of the previous session's sharp losses, and the S&P 500
closed at a record high, after Russian President Vladimir Putin
said he would use force in neighbouring Ukraine only as a last
Putin's first comments on the crisis over the Ukrainian
region of Crimea, interpreted as an attempt to reduce tensions,
helped fuel a rebound in equities worldwide.
"Investors continue to contemplate what the position is as
far as Ukraine is concerned. I think there is still some caution
there in the background... Having said that... we did see the
markets bounce aggressively yesterday," Keith Bowman, equity
analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.
Europe bourses in 2014:
Asset performance in 2014:
Today's European research round-up