October 29, 2012 / 9:45 AM / 5 years ago

Earnings worries hit European shares

3 Min Read

* FTSEurofirst 300 falls 0.5 pct to 1,092.35 points
    * Euro STOXX 50 falls 0.7 pct to 2,478.13 points
    * Traders cite worries over corporate results, Spain

    By Sudip Kar-Gupta
    LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - European shares fell for the
first time in four sessions on Monday, hit by worries over weak
company results.
    Analysts expected equities to make little progress this
week, with volumes expected to be low given the closure of U.S.
stock and options markets due to Hurricane Sandy..
    The FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.5 percent to
1,092.35 points and the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50
index fell 0.7 percent to 2,478.13 points.
    Spain's IBEX stock market outperformed the broader 
market, dipping 0.2 percent after European Central Bank 
policymaker Ewald Nowotny said the country had no immediate need
of help from the bank's planned new bond-buying programme.
 
    Madrid is under pressure to seek a financial rescue that
would trigger ECB bond purchases, and uncertainty over how the
country will resolve its debt problems continues to weigh on the
market.
    "Spain remains a problem," said Francois Savary, chief
investment officer at Swiss bank Reyl.
    Savary remained "underweight" on European equities, with
Reyl having increased its exposure to emerging market equities
in recent weeks. He would consider buying European shares if the
Euro STOXX 50 fell to the 2,400 point level.
 
    
    WEAK COMPANY RESULTS
    Traders said results from Europe's top companies were
pegging back stock markets.
    "Corporate earnings are still weighing on sentiment," said
Adrian Slack, head of equities at Bastion Capital.
    According to Thomson Reuters Starmine data, 47 percent of
the companies on the European STOXX 600 index to have
reported earnings have performed below expectations.
    The Euro STOXX 50 index fell below its 50-day simple moving
average level of roughly 2,500 points - which some traders take
as a sign to sell an index - but remained above its 100 and
200-day simple moving average at roughly 2,400 points.
    Henning Gebhardt, DWS Investments' head of European
equities, backed "defensive" equity sectors such as food or
healthcare - seen as most resilient in a weak economy - over
"cyclical" sectors such as banks or miners.
    "We have a tendency to be more defensive," he said.

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