January 17, 2018 / 11:37 AM / 9 months ago

LIVE MARKETS-The silver lining to a stronger euro

    * European shares dip
    * Earnings in focus: ASML, Casino, Pearson
    * Informa agrees to buy UBM

    Jan 17 (Reuters) - Welcome to the home for real time coverage of European equity markets
brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Danilo Masoni. Reach him on
Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: danilo.masoni.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net  
  
 
    
    THE SILVER LINING TO A STRONGER EURO (1134 GMT)
    As the euro moves lower, European shares have cut losses with the STOXX 600 flat in
late morning trade.
    But while there have been concerns more broadly about the euro's rise denting European
company earnings, there is also a more positive view out there, as voiced by Chris Bailey,
European strategist at Raymond James:
    "Higher sentiment also means higher faith in pan-EU growth rates ... and with this comes the
opportunity: outperformance and higher multiple potential for the more EU ‘domestic’-centred
profit and cash flow generators," says Bailey in a note.
    "That pushes you towards sectors including the financials, construction, retail, and
telecoms versus the more export-centred ones."
    (Kit Rees)
    *****
    
    THE PROBLEM WITH "VERY BRITISH", BRITISH SHARES (1110 GMT) 
    Viewed from the office of a Parisian asset manager, Carillion's collapse and this morning's 
concern surrounding Interserve are early signs of the pain Brexit is expected to bring and
another reason to stay underweight on British shares.
    "For all 'very British', British companies (that is almost entirely exposed to the UK
economy) one can see that there is an issue with faltering sales", said Olivier de Berranger,
who heads asset management at France's La Financière de l’Echiquier. 
    "Markets pay little attention to Brexit but there are worrying signs like the bankruptcy of
Carillion or the decrease in traffic at Eurotunnel", de Berranger told Reuters' Paris markets
team.      
 
    (Blandine Henault and Julien Ponthus)     
    *****     
    
    WHAT COULD SPOIL THE EUROPEAN EQUITY PARTY? (1007 GMT)
    On a day like today, it's sobering to consider what could go wrong for European equities.
    "No one wants to be dancing when the music stops, but the last part of a bull market tends
to produce some of the most powerful returns," UBS' strategists say in a note, predicting around
15 percent of total returns in European equities in 2018.
    UBS flags rising U.S. yields, euro strength, PMIs rolling over and volatility picking up as
potential spanners in the works, though.
 
    (Kit Rees)
    *****
    
    EUROPE JOINS GLOBAL GLOOM, INTERSERVE FALLS IN POST-CARILLION SCARE (0820 GMT) 
    As expected, European markets opened on a downward trend, in sync with a gloomy global mood
which dampened Wall Street and Asian markets. All main bourses and sectors are down with the
exception of tech, boosted by the results of ASML. 
    British contractor Interserve is taking a 10 percent hit after the Financial Times
reported that government ministers are "very worried" and have set up a team of officials to
monitor the company following the collapse of competitor Carillion. 
    Still in the UK but on a brighter note, events organiser UBM is surging 15 percent
after a 3.8 billion pound bid from Informa.
    Here are the top movers on the STOXX 600 which is down 0.22 percent. 
 
 
    (Julien Ponthus) 
    *****
    
    WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW (0748 GMT)
    European shares are expected to open lower today with index futures pointing to losses of
around 0.1-0.4 percent, as markets pull back following a new year rally that a lifted the
pan-European STOXX 600 benchmark to its highest since August 2015.  
    Earnings are likely to be the main focus with ASML in the spotlight after the chip
tool maker reported a better-than-expected net profit for the fourth quarter as several
customers asked for early delivery of products amid a booming semiconductor industry. For 2018,
the company said it expected continued solid growth of sales and profitability. Eyes also on
retailer Casino, which said it would deliver on its 2017 profit growth forecasts
despite posting slightly softer fourth quarter sales, and manufacturing group Alstom,
which reported higher third-quarter sales and kept its 2020 financial targets. UK education
group Pearson predicted underlying profit growth in 2018 despite ongoing pressures in
its North American business.  
    In M&A, Britain's Informa made a cash and paper offer to buy events organiser UBM
, while Nestle agreed to sell its U.S. confectionery business to Italy's Ferrero
for $2.8 billion. Baader Bank noted Nestle got an attractive price for a business that's losing
market share.
    Interserve could be hit after the FT reported that the construction service provider
was under UK government watch over financial health fears.
    Other stock movers: European car sales drop 4.8 pct in December, Rio Tinto says U.S. SEC
fraud case should be dismissed; Novartis's Kymriah wins speedy reviews in U.S., Europe; UK
cinema chain Cineworld's 2017 revenue grows as Star Wars, Dunkirk shine. 
    (Danilo Masoni)
    *****    
    
    FROM YESTERDAY'S "HICCUP" TO A BITCOIN-LIKE FALL (0725 GMT) 
    What would it take? According to Rabobank, a trade war waged by Donald Trump on China has
the potential to bring down global markets in the most dramatic way. 
    "The little hiccup we got in equities yesterday could -- perhaps -- start to look more like
what Bitcoin just did", it wrote in its morning note as world leaders nervously await the U.S.
president's speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos next week. 
    Here's bitcoin's fall these last three days: 
 
 
    (Julien Ponthus) 
*****        
          
    EUROPEAN STOCK FUTURES FALL (0702 GMT)
    Stock futures in Europe have opened in the red with declines of around 0.3 percent.    
 
    (Danilo Masoni)
    *****
    
    TECH IN FOCUS AS ASML BEATS EXPECTATIONS (0634 GMT)
    The richly valued tech sector is one to watch this morning after the Dutch supplier
of equipment to key chip makers reported a better-than-expected net profit for the fourth
quarter.  
    Several customers asked for early delivery of products amid a booming semiconductor
industry, helping ASML's net profit rise to 644 million euros from 524 million euros.
Analysts polled for Reuters had expected profit of 454 million euros.
    Tech stocks are leading sectoral gainers in Europe over the last 12 months but some
investors say the sector's golden era may be over.    
 
    (Danilo Masoni)
    *****
    
    EUROPEAN MORNING CALL: LOWER (0617 GMT)
    Good morning and welcome to Live Markets. Following a steady close in the previous session,
financial spreadbetters expect European to open lower today as gains on Wall Street evaporated,
dragged by a weaker energy sector and losses in General Electric shares.
    Over in Asia, stocks stepped back from a record high as the region's resource shares were
hit by falling oil and commodity prices.
    Here are your morning calls, courtesy of CMC Markets:
    FTSE100 is expected to open 21 points lower at 7,734
    DAX is expected to open 64 points lower at 13,182
    CAC40 is expected to open 20 points lower at 5,494
    (Danilo Masoni)
    *****

    
 (Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Helen Reid, Kit Rees and Julien Ponthus)
  
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