Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - Page 14 News List

European shares rise on tech stocks

Reuters, LONDON

European shares crept higher on Friday on firmer tech stocks and automakers, although gains were limited as earnings weighed on shares in French bank Societe Generale SA (SocGen) and Dutch telecoms firms Altice NV.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2 percent to 396.06, posting a 0.7 percent weekly gain, while Germany’s DAX hit a record high, up 0.4 percent.

Britain’s FTSE 100 built on the previous session’s gains following the Bank of England’s first rate hike in more than a decade, up 0.3 percent.

Friday was another busy day of earnings, with the banking sector in focus. Societe Generale fell 3 percent after the French bank reported third-quarter earnings that included a 15 percent slump at its investment banking arm.

Weak trading has been an issue across the sector, with peer BNP Paribas SA dropping earlier in the week on the back of a slump in fixed income trading.

“These weaker results add pressure on [SocGen] to deliver a substantial revamp at the investor day on Nov. 28, otherwise it will become a value trap,” analysts at Jefferies LLC said in a note.

Telecoms firm Altice was another big faller, down 10 percent after issuing cautious full-year targets amidst slightly weaker-than-expected third-quarter results.

Shares in Air France-KLM Group reversed earlier gains to fall 7.5 percent following comments from its finance chief after its results. The airline’s shares were suspended briefly, but resumed trading.

Wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems AS was the biggest faller, down 1 percent, while Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy also fell 5.3 percent after the proposed US tax reform bill included cuts to renewable energy tax credits.

On the positive side, Norwegian consumer publishing firm Schibsted ASA surged 18.5 percent to the top of the STOXX after its results came in above forecast.

France’s Renault SA rose 5 percent, leading European autos after the French government began the sale of its 4.73 percent stake in the automaker.

Tech stocks were also in focus after US giant Apple Inc reported better-than-expected earnings, boosting shares in suppliers Dialog Semiconductor PLC 3.4 percent and AMS AG 2.2 percent.

More than half of MSCI Europe companies have reported third-quarter earnings, of which 67 percent have either met or beaten analysts’ expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.

“Those [smaller beats] and the big beats, once you add them all together, makes it actually a fairly good earnings season, hence why markets are where they are,” Accendo Markets head of research Mike van Dulken said.

“We’re seeing the ECB [European Central Bank] strike a dovish tone, we’ve seen the Bank of England clearly deliver a more dovish message on less hikes over a longer term, the Fed nomination [is] very much being seen as a steady as she goes so yes, rates are higher ... but it’s still a very much accommodative environment for a good while longer,” Van Dulken added.

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