* Earnings, valuations concerns dominate in Europe
* Asia up as Wall St rises with Fed in no hurry to end QE
* Dollar steadies after overnight fall
* China's trade data not as strong as expected, reaction
By Patrick Graham
LONDON, July 10 European shares were back in
negative territory on Thursday, a brief lift from U.S. Federal
Reserve meeting minutes proving short-lived as investors worried
whether markets could go it alone without the U.S. central
bank's emergency support.
Faith in a rally in share prices dating back almost three
years has more shaky over the past month than for some time, as
the Fed nears what looks like a definitive end to its programme
of new money-printing.
The minutes from the U.S. central bank's last meeting,
published after European markets had closed on Wednesday,
offered no sign it was any closer to following that with a swift
rise in official interest rates to cool the economy.
That boosted U.S. and Asian markets overnight. But the
dominant concern at the European open was over companies'
results and the economy's ability to survive without the new
funds which the Fed's bond-buying has forced into the system
Norway's largest bank DNB added to an inauspicious start to
the second quarter earnings for some of Europe's biggest
companies while construction firm Skanska said it would
significantly scale down its loss-making Latin American
"For many the markets are still a bit too expensive
considered that the global recovery seems to be progressing
somewhat slower than previously hoped," said Markus Huber, an
analyst with trading firm Peregrine Black in London.
The dollar , seen as the big beneficiary of any
move by the Fed toward higher interest rates, fell by as much as
half a cent in response to the minutes but was broadly steady in
early European trade.
Britain's FTSE 100 index was helped by an almost 4 percent
rise for Burberry after the luxury brand reported a
strong batch of earnings for the first quarter, boding well for
other high-end consumer companies.
But oil prices were lower, normally a negative for
the commodity heavy index, and the market was struggling to eke
out any gains after a week of steady losses.
Germany's DAX and France's CAC were both
down between almost 0.2 percent.
That ran in contrast to the performance in much of Asia
overnight, where the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific
shares outside Japan gained 0.3 percent.
Tokyo's Nikkei bucked the trend and fell 0.3
percent, weighed down by a record drop in machinery orders in
May that cast doubt over the outlook for capital spending and
the strength of its economic recovery.
China's exports in June also missed market forecasts, but
caused limited reaction in regional markets as it reinforced
expectations that Beijing will have to unveil more stimulus
measures to stabilise the economy and meet its 2014 growth
"The trade figures were not so exciting. It's still
unrealistic to count on exports to be an important contributor
to economic growth," said Wang Jun, an economist at the China
Centre for International Economic Exchanges in Beijing.
"The import figure showed some signs of improvement on
domestic demand. Taken together with weak inflation data, we
think domestic demand remains weak. It would be relatively
difficult for China to achieve its annual trade growth target of
7.5 percent in 2014."
Indonesian stocks hit their highest in over a year as the
market welcomed the prospect of reform-minded Jakarta Governor
Joko "Jokowi" Widodo becoming the next president, although his
rival has refused to concede defeat after Wednesday's election.
The Jakarta market was up 1.7 percent after earlier
rising more than 2 percent. The Indonesian rupiah also
gained 0.6 percent to 11,555 to the dollar.