November 1, 2013 / 9:01 AM / 4 years ago

Weak earnings weigh on European shares

* FTSEurofirst 300 slips 0.1 pct, ESTOXX 50 down 0.2 pct
    * Renault falls as Japan partner Nissan cuts outlook
    * Aircraft parts supplier Meggitt slumps after cutting
guidance

    By Sudip Kar-Gupta
    LONDON, Nov 1 (Reuters) - More signs of third quarter
weakness at major European companies pegged back the region's
stock markets on Friday, pushing indexes off multi-year highs.
    The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down
0.1 percent at 1,291.30 points in early session trade, while the
euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index declined
0.2 percent to 3,062.18 points.
    Germany's DAX, which hit a record high of 9,070.17
points earlier this week, retreated 0.1 percent to 9,022.64.
    The FTSEurofirst 300 index has risen 14 percent since the
start of 2013 and around 4 percent in October, reaching a
five-year high of 1,296.37 points on Oct. 30.
    Since then, some traders have chosen to cash in profits on
growing evidence of a far from stellar third-quarter earnings
season.
    On Friday, UK aircraft parts supplier Meggitt fell
around 8 percent after cutting its revenue guidance, and French
carmaker Renault also fell sharply after its Japanese
partner Nissan cut its net profit outlook for the year.
  
    "Q3 numbers have not been that good. Generally, the guidance
is down from companies," said Toby Campbell-Gray, head of
trading at Tavira Securities.
    According to Thomson Reuters StarMine data, 53 percent of
companies on the pan-European STOXX 600 index have
missed market expectations and 47 percent met or beaten them.
    Campbell-Gray said he still expected European equity markets
to rally towards the end of 2013 and Citigroup's European equity
strategists also gave a positive outlook.
    They argued investors should look to buy up more banking
stocks as the global economy slowly recovers from the effects of
the 2008 financial crisis, alongside "recovery" stocks that
could get merger interest.   
    "We have been and remain very bullish on equities and have
progressively raised exposure to risk and recovery over the past
12-15 months," Citigroup wrote in a research note.

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