January 22, 2019 / 8:49 AM / 7 months ago

UBS and global growth concerns drive down European shares

LONDON (Reuters) - European shares extended their slide on Tuesday as growth worries weighed on global markets while results from Switzerland’s UBS dragged on the banking sector.

The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 0.4 percent, with Germany's DAX .GDAXI also retreating 0.4 percent and Italy's FTSE MIB .FTMIB down 1 percent as a new batch of corporate updates cemented the risk-averse mood.

Oil prices also fell after the International Monetary Fund trimmed its global growth forecasts and a survey showed mounting pessimism among business chiefs as the rich and powerful gather at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Mediobanca analysts told their clients that the IMF forecast does not signal an imminent downturn, though “escalation of trade tensions and worsening financial conditions are key risks to the outlook along with a no-deal Brexit and a greater than envisaged slowdown in China”.

Shares in UBS (UBSG.S) dropped 3.2 percent after the bank’s fourth-quarter earnings sent jitters across a sector struggling to recover after losing almost 30 percent of its value in 2018.

Europe’s banking index .SX7P fell 1 percent, with HSBC (HSBA.L), BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) and Santander (SAN.MC) down between 1.2 percent and 2.7 percent.

In Milan, Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) weighed on the FTSE MIB. The telecoms stock tumbled 6.2 percent as uncertainty over its strategic options grew after a regulator pushed back a plan to separate its fixed-line network.

Puncturing the gloom was German fashion house Hugo Boss (BOSSn.DE), shares of which jumped 5.2 percent after it predicted more expansion this year after a pick-up in sales growth at the end of 2018.

“Hugo Boss saw a solid end to the year with Q4 sales coming slightly ahead of expectations ... thanks to what looks like a stronger wholesale development,” Berenberg analysts wrote.

China’s unquenched thirst for cognac helped French spirits group Remy Cointreau (RCOP.PA) to deliver stronger than expected third-quarter revenue, but the shares quickly fell into the red after a positive start.

“We expect investors to react positively to the Q3 beat but believe concerns about depletion trends during the forthcoming Chinese New Year will temper enthusiasm,” UBS analysts wrote.

EasyJet (EZJ.L) topped the STOXX index after investors were comforted by the budget airline’s upbeat outlook, though it revealed it lost 15 million pounds from the travel chaos sparked by drones around London’s Gatwick Airport in December.

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

Shares in the airline jumped 6.4 percent, its best day since 2013, helping the travel and leisure sector .SXTP to a 1 percent gain, with rivals Ryanair (RYA.I), Air France (AIRF.PA), and Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) also rising, up by 1.8-4.3 percent.

Air France and Lufthansa were also boosted by an upgrade from Morgan Stanley to “overweight”.

(Graphic: Quarterly earnings growth STOXX and SP500 Jan 22 - tmsnrt.rs/2T64wxm)

Reporting by Julien Ponthus and Helen Reid; Editing by Keith Weir, Alison Williams and David Goodman

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