November 9, 2018 / 8:34 AM / 7 days ago

Commodities stocks drag Europe down as Thyssenkrupp, Richemont earnings disappoint

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares slipped on Friday as mining and oil stocks sold off and weak results from Thyssenkrupp and Richemont weighed on sentiment.

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, November 8, 2018. REUTERS/Staff

The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.4 percent but held on to a small gain for the week, its second in the black after a harsh sell-off in October.

The end-week slide in Europe joined a global market retreat after the U.S. Federal Reserve appeared to remain on track to raise its key interest rate next month and warned the growth of business investment had dipped.

“Just as the feel-good factor was beginning to return to the markets, buoyed by the result of the U.S. midterms, the Fed swooped in and brought everyone back down to earth,” Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a note.

On Friday disappointing corporate earnings in Europe weighed on the market, as Germany’s Thyssenkrupp (TKAG.DE) fell 9.2 percent to its lowest levels since July 2016 after cutting its profit outlook for the second time this year.

“A second guidance cut in as many quarters will further weaken confidence that Thyssenkrupp has the quality of assets that merit a higher multiple, while continued poor free cash flow is unlikely to give assurance that balance sheet risks are behind it,” wrote Jefferies analysts.

Thyssenkrupp helped drag down the basic resources sector .SXPP which fell 3.4 percent as metals sold off.

Nickel slumped to its lowest price in nearly 11 months on worries about higher U.S. interest rates and slowing Chinese economic growth.

French oil storage and distribution group Rubis (RUBF.PA) led losers with an 11 percent fall after a disappointing trading update, and brokers lowered their recommendation for the stock.

The energy sector .SXEP also acted as a drag, down 1.4 percent with oil majors weighing on indexes as rising supply and concerns of an economic slowdown pressured prices. U.S. crude has fallen around 20 percent since early October.

Another blow for investors was luxury goods group Richemont (CFR.S), whose shares fell 6.4 percent after it said sales growth slowed and management struck a cautious note.

The sales numbers were hurt by moves to combat the grey market and efforts by the Chinese government to discourage consumers from spending overseas.

The results knocked Swiss peer Swatch (UHR.S), which fell 5.1 percent, and French luxury group Kering (PRTP.PA), the worst performer on the Paris CAC 40 .FCHI with a 3.5 percent decline. Italy's Moncler (MONC.MI) also fell 3.6 percent.

Italian state-controlled defense group Leonardo (LDOF.MI) was another big loser, tumbling 8.9 percent after a disappointing trading update.

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri (FCT.MI) also sank 15.7 percent, its worst day ever, after its results.

Europe’s banking sector .SX7P also fell sharply with BBVA the worst-performing.

Shares in the Spanish lender (BBVA.MC) tumbled 5.9 percent in the fallout from an unexpected bill in Mexico proposing to limit bank commissions, which triggered the stock market’s biggest fall in more than seven years on Thursday.

Santander (SAN.MC) fell 1.6 percent and Banco Sabadell <SABE,MC> was down 2.2 percent, but BBVA suffered the biggest tumble as Mexico is its biggest market, accounting for 41 percent of the bank’s overall profits.

Shares in Danish bioscience company Chr. Hansen (CHRH.CO) suffered their worst day since June, down 6.3 percent, after major shareholder Novo Holdings A/S sold 4.85 million shares at a roughly 9 percent discount to Thursday’s closing price.

With disappointing earnings frustrating investors’ hopes for a results-driven boost to sentiment on European stocks, EPFR data showed further outflows, of $2.6 billion, from the region this week.

Reporting by Julien Ponthus; editing by Josephine Mason/Mark Heinrich

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