20 Euro banknotes are displayed is this picture illustration taken November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Illustration 20 Euro banknotes are displayed is this picture illustration taken November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Illustration

European shares dip on heavy earnings day as euro rebounds

Thu, May. 3, 2018
MILAN - 3 May 2018: European bourses fell in morning trading on Thursday, weighed down by a rebound in the euro and a series of disappointing earning updates including from Smith & Nephew.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.2 percent, retracing from three-month highs, while Germany's DAX .GDAXI and Britain's FTSE also fell slightly.

The euro rose off four-month lows as the dollar’s recent rally came to a halt after the U.S. Federal Reserve did little to alter market expectations for further interest rate rises this year.

“European markets were on the back foot in early trade as investors digest the aftermath of the Fed’s no-surprise rate hold and US-China trade talks weigh,” said Neil Wilson, Chief Market Analyst at Markets.com.

“The Fed left rates on hold as expected and signaled that it’s unlikely to respond too aggressively if we get some hot summer inflation readings this year,” he added.

In earnings, Smith & Nephew (SN.L) slumped 6.8 percent after Europe’s biggest artificial hip and knee maker cut its forecast for full-year underlying revenue growth after some markets softened and it saw a slowdown in its bioactives business.

“Following on from weak results from competitors, results across most product lines were slightly soft... However, Bioactives was the major disappointment,” said UBS in a note.

Bpost (BPOST.BR) fell 12 percent, leading fallers on the STOXX, and Schibsted (SBSTA.OL) declined 5.5 as results lagged expectations.

Adidas (ADSGn.DE) fell as much as 3.5 percent after the German sportswear firm posted sales growth slightly shy of analyst expectations, although net profit rose more than expected. The stock recovered some of its losses and was down 1 percent.

Results elsewhere showed the negative impact of strength in the euro during the first quarter.

German drug and crop chemical Bayer (BAYGn.DE) cut its full-year guidance as a stronger euro weighs on the value of overseas revenues. Its shares edged up 0.1 percent.

Adverse currency also led to a 2 percent revenue drop at healthcare group Fresenius (FREG.DE) and resulted in a lower-than-expected core profit for Belgian chemicals group Solvay (SOLB.BR).

Fresenius fell 1 percent and Solvay was down 2.2 percent.

Elsewhere, however, some well-received company updates provided support. Logitech (LOGN.S) rose 9.1 percent following a better than expected quarterly results.

French utility Veolia (VIE.PA) rose 2.5 percent after quarterly revenues rose, as its French water business returned to growth and international activities also showed double-digit growth.

Overall, first quarter earnings for the euro zone MSCI index are seen up 2.5 percent in euro terms or 14.6 percent in dollar terms, according to Thomson Reuters data.
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