EuropeStay updated with Business News, Pakistan news, Current world news and latest world news with Business Recorder..http://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe.htmlSat, 25 Oct 2014 10:08:16 +0000SRA Framework 2.0en-gbKering, BASF drag down European shares, Ebola eyedhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201565-kering-basf-drag-down-european-shares-ebola-eyed.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201565-kering-basf-drag-down-european-shares-ebola-eyed.htmlimageLONDON: Shares in luxury goods group Kering and chemicals company BASF fell on Friday after business updates, while new worries about the Ebola virus weighed on European stock markets.

Kering fell 4.6 percent, making it the worst-performing stock on the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index after sales fell at its Gucci brand. Chemicals company BASF also declined by 3.3 percent after cutting its 2015 earnings forecast on weak demand in its European home markets.

The declines in the two companies, coupled with new worries over Ebola, contributed to push down the FTSEurofirst 300 by 0.3 percent to 1,313.21 points going into the close of trading.

The latest Ebola concerns arose after news that a New York City doctor who treated Ebola patients in West Africa had become the first person to test positive for the virus in the US financial hub.

Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital, told Reuters Insider Television that one of the problems about Ebola was that investors still could not quantify the kind of impact it might have on the world economy.

"People have no idea how to price it," said Rundle.

Others felt the Ebola worries might be exaggerated. "I think the fears are a bit overdone. In previous cases, such as avian flu, the virus ended up being contained quite quickly," said Caroline Vincent, European equities fund manager at Cavendish Asset Management.

VOLVO AND MONTE PASCHI SURGE

The euro zone's banking index edged up by 0.7 percent as investors bet that a weekend update on the sector's financial health from the European Central Bank would not reveal too many problems at the region's top banks.

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena shares surged 9.5 percent as traders said the bailed-out Italian lender could pass the health checks relatively unscathed.

Global truck maker Volvo also outpaced the broader stock market downturn, gaining 6.9 percent after a surprise rise in core earnings. The FTSEurofirst 300 index has rebounded slightly this week to put it on course for its best week since December 2013.

Nevertheless, many investors have continued slashing exposure to European equities, which have been knocked back over the last month by weak European economic data.

US-based funds invested in European shares saw outflows for a third straight week, according to Lipper data.

A Lipper survey of 109 US-domiciled funds investing in European shares, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), showed redemptions of $958 million in the seven days to Oct. 22, adding to the record weekly outflows of $1.33 billion from last week.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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s.rs96@yahoo.com (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui)EuropeFri, 24 Oct 2014 14:33:40 +0000
Stress tests, Ebola cool stocks after best week of yearhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201539-stress-tests-ebola-cool-stocks-after-best-week-of-year.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201539-stress-tests-ebola-cool-stocks-after-best-week-of-year.htmlimageLONDON: World stocks dipped on Friday, as European bank stress test results due at the weekend and New York City's first case of Ebola prompted investors to lock in profits after the best week for shares in well over a year.

A doctor who treated Ebola patients in West Africa became the first person to test positive for the virus in America's largest city, raising fresh fears about its spread.

Europe's main bourses in London, Frankfurt and Paris all opened 0.5 percent in the red and US stock futures were down as investors moved to safe-haven assets such as the yen and US and European government bonds.

"It's down to a combination of profit taking and a bit of uncertainty about the weekend's stress test results," said David Madden, a market analyst at IG index.

"We have already seen a spike up in Greek government bond yields recently so the euro zone crisis has not gone away, and after this week we are back on a 9,000 level for the DAX so people are happy to take a bit of money off the table."

The euro also slipped on caution about the banking tests. It hit $1.2638, having fallen for much of the week after European Central Bank insiders told Reuters the ECB was drawing

up plans for a corporate bond purchase programme.

Follow an intense, year-long review, the euro zone's 130 biggest banks received the ECB's final verdict on their finances on Thursday, with official results to be published on Sunday.

Juergen Fitschen, co-chief executive of Deutsche Bank and president of the BdB association of German banks, offered a hint on Thursday, saying the results probably gave his country's banks a clean bill of health. Ireland's permanent tsb is so far the only failure that has been exposed.

BEST WEEK OF YEAR

The Ebola fears saw S&P 500 mini futures fall as much as 0.7 percent, slipping from two-week highs hit on Thursday on budding optimism from corporate earnings and the global economy.

With 177 of the S&P 500 companies having posted third-quarter results, 69.5 percent have beaten expectations, better than the 67 percent beat rate over the past four quarters, and higher than the 20-year average of 63 percent, Thomson Reuters data showed.

MSCI's All-World index which spans bourses in 45 countries, is up over 2.6 percent for the week, its strongest performance since July last year. Gains in Europe were slightly less but still the best this year.

There was also focus on Russia and Ukraine, with Russia facing a rating review from Standard & Poor's later and elections taking place in Ukraine on Sunday.

The rouble was at a new record low and stocks were in the red ahead of the S&P review, which could Russia's credit rating cut to 'junk'. Moscow will be hoping its solid finances prevent a second downgrade from a major rating agency in as many weeks.

"I would assume that it is too early to revisit the ratings. But this is my personal opinion. The rating agencies work according to their methodologies," influential former Russian finance minister and outspoken policy critic, Alexei Kudrin, told Reuters at an event in London this week.

Meanwhile more political stability in Ukraine could aid the European economy, which has suffered from the fall in trade with Russia on tit-for-tat sanctions between the West and Moscow.

"I suspect one often overlooked reason for the market's rebound since the middle of this week was signs of easing tensions between Russia and Ukraine," said Soichiro Monji, chief strategist at Daiwa SB Investments.

President Petro Poroshenko's bloc holds a big lead ahead of Sunday's poll in Ukraine, but populist Oleh Lyashko's Radical party could also make a strong showing.

If so, Poroshenko may have the awkward task of seeking support from a politician who has been sharply critical of his peace plan and contacts with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

An election that pro-Russian separatists will hold early next month must also be navigated.

Commodities have also enjoyed a small rebound this week following a wretched recent run on fears about slowing global growth and oversupply in individual markets.

Brent oil was slightly softer at $86 a barrel on Friday as risk appetite took a hit from the news of Ebola in New York but it was set for its first gain in five weeks. Copper was heading for only its second rise in nine weeks.

Oil markets had risen sharply on news that crude supplies to the market from Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, fell to 9.36 million barrels per day (bpd) in September, down 328,000 bpd from August, according to an industry source.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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s.rs96@yahoo.com (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui)EuropeFri, 24 Oct 2014 13:33:04 +0000
Emerging stocks heading for first gain in 7 weeks http://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201534-emerging-stocks-heading-for-first-gain-in-7-weeks.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201534-emerging-stocks-heading-for-first-gain-in-7-weeks.htmlimageLONDON: Emerging stocks were on track to clock up their first weekly gains in seven weeks, though Russia bucked the trend with investors nervous ahead of a credit ratings decision that could see Moscow's debt cut to junk.

MSCI's main emerging market index ticked 0.2 percent lower, following US futures and Asia where markets had been rattled by the news that a doctor returning to New York from Guinea had tested positive for Ebola.

Nonetheless, emerging stocks looked on track for their first modest weekly rise since early September. "We have seen some kind of stabilisation over the last week following the turmoil in emerging markets recently," said Stanislava Pravdova, emerging markets analyst at Danske Bank.

"Though looking ahead we are still very cautious ... markets are still nervous about the health of the global economy."

Russia remained a flashpoint for investors, and both stocks and the rouble looked poised to end the week in the red. Standard and Poor's was due to release its latest assessment of Russia's debt later in the day and could cut it to junk in what would bring a second downgrade from a major agency in as many weeks.

Russia's rouble-denominated MICEX index fell 0.38, while the dollar-based RTS lost 0.75 percent and touched its lowest level since March.

The rouble weakened 0.57 percent on the day to a new low against the dollar.

"Markets are completely right to be nervous," said Pravdova. "And oil prices are slightly inching down today, so that could add to the rouble being weighed down."

Emerging market fund flows over the past week showed Russian stocks saw outflows of 0.5 percent, compared with 0.36 percent for the EMEA region and a global outflow of 0.3 percent, according to analysts citing EPFR data.

Elsewhere in Europe, Hungarian shares traded down 1.1 percent and hit a fresh seven-month low as plans for a new tax on internet providers weighed on the market.

The Budapest stock index has lost almost 7 percent since the start of the year.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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s.rs96@yahoo.com (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui)EuropeFri, 24 Oct 2014 13:17:05 +0000
Monte Paschi's shares jump on ECB stress test talkhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201527-monte-paschis-shares-jump-on-ecb-stress-test-talk.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201527-monte-paschis-shares-jump-on-ecb-stress-test-talk.html

imageMILAN: Shares in the Italian banks considered most at risk of failing euro zone health checks, including bailed out lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena , were sharply higher on Friday as investors bet on them faring better than expected.

Monte Paschi's share price rose more than 10 percent, reversing losses in recent days triggered by fears that the world's oldest bank could fall short in the European Central Bank's stress tests, despite raising 5 billion euros ($6 billion) in June to strengthen its finances.

"Investors are betting that one of the most problematic banks in the euro zone could pass the stress tests with fewer problems than previously thought," said Vincenzo Longo, strategist at broker house IG.

The European Central Bank is due to publish the results of a comprehensive review of the health of Europe's 130 biggest banks on Sunday.

While the health check is aimed at shoring up confidence and drawing a line under the euro zone crisis, the possibility that some banks could be told to raise additional funds to strengthen their capital base has put investors on alert, triggering volatility.

Monte Paschi's shares were up 9 percent at 0.9855 euros by 1026 GMT when the Stoxx Europe 600 banking sector index was up 0.1 percent.

"The (Monte Paschi) stock is back at ... the level of 10 days ago.

The market is a giant slot machine," a Milan broker said. Earlier on Friday a senior official at Italian banking association ABI said market reaction to the stress tests could also be volatile because of the difficulty in interpreting the results.

"These are evaluations which are not simple and there could be a bit of volatility on the markets," Giovanni Sabatini said.

Italian newspapers said Monte Paschi and Banca Carige could be among the Italian banks asked to take measures to cover a capital shortfall that could emerge from the ECB review.

But according to daily Il Messaggero, Monte Paschi would not look to a capital increase to plug the capital adequacy gap but instead would sells assets and issue additional Tier 1 category bonds.

Monte Paschi was not immediately available for a comment. Banca Carige declined to comment.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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s.rs96@yahoo.com (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui)EuropeFri, 24 Oct 2014 13:07:37 +0000
Russian assets slide ahead of S&P rating reviewhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201523-russian-assets-slide-ahead-of-s.html?p-rating-review=http://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201523-russian-assets-slide-ahead-of-s.html?p-rating-review=imageMOSCOW: Russian assets slid on Friday before a ratings review by Standard and Poor's, which might downgrade Russia's debt to 'junk' status, and a weekend parliamentary election in Ukraine that could enflame East-West tensions. The rouble was badly hit.

It has already been bruised by strong demand for dollars from Russian companies shut out of international capital markets by Western sanctions over Ukraine, and is down 22 percent since the start of the year, its worst since 1998.

By 1015 GMT, it was 0.64 percent weaker against the dollar at 41.97.

It also had lost 0.53 percent to trade at 53.08 versus the euro after earlier hitting new lows against both currencies.

The central bank intervened once more to defend the currency, with traders saying the bank has now spent close to $17 billion so far this month in market interventions.

"A continuation of the negative mood on foreign markets, as well as the risk of a downgrade of Russia's sovereign rating, are forcing market participants to hurry to get rid of their roubles," analysts at Bank Zenit said in a note.

The rouble was 0.6 percent weaker at 46.98 against the dollar-euro basket the central bank uses to gauge the rouble's nominal exchange rate.

The central bank said early on Friday it had shifted the rouble's trading band by 40 kopecks a day before, to 37.70 to 46.70 against the basket - the largest daily shift in the rouble's trading band so far this year.

Once the rouble reaches the band's limits, the bank automatically conducts market interventions. Analysts said they do not think Russia's macroeconomic fundamentals warrant a downgrade and S&P is unlikely to impose one.

But lingering political tensions around Ukraine and a dramatic collapse in prices for oil, one of Russia's chief exports, have fuelled market fears.

S&P is expected to announce its verdict after the market closes.

Its rating is already BBB-, just a step away from non-investment status, and carries a 'negative outlook', meaning there is at least a one-in-three chance of a downgrade at some point over the next two years.

Russian shares also fell on Friday, hurt by the same broad-based risk aversion linked to the S&P decision and the decline in oil prices.

Brent crude fell to $86 a barrel after a confirmed case of Ebola in New York raised fears of travel restrictions that could weaken jet fuel demand, and poor economic growth outlooks weighed on projected oil consumption.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 0.9 percent at 1,026 points, 10 points away from its low for the year.

The rouble-based MICEX was 0.3 percent lower at 1,368 points.

Top bank Sberbank was 0.5 percent lower, while oil producer Rosneft was down 0.3 percent.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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s.rs96@yahoo.com (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui)EuropeFri, 24 Oct 2014 12:59:25 +0000
Britain's FTSE falls, still set for strongest week since Augusthttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201517-britains-ftse-falls-still-set-for-strongest-week-since-august.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201517-britains-ftse-falls-still-set-for-strongest-week-since-august.htmlimageLONDON: Britain's top share index was set for its strongest week since August despite dropping on Friday, when airlines and hotel stocks were hit by news that a New York City doctor had tested positive for the Ebola virus.

The FTSE 100 was 0.3 percent lower at 6,402.39 points by 1118 GMT.

It was still up 1.5 percent for the week, extending a rebound from 15-month lows hit last week.

Concern about global growth has been behind much of the recent decline.

Travel and leisure has also been hit by concern over Ebola, dropping to a two-year low - the latest news stopped a rally in the sector in its tracks, although it remains up 3.7 percent for the week.

The doctor, who treated Ebola patients in West Africa, became the first person to be affected by the virus in America's largest city, raising fresh fears about its spread.

The UK travel and leisure index fell 0.3 percent, dragged down by 1 to 1.5 percent falls in InterContinental Hotels Group, cruise-operator Carnival and budget airline easyJet.

"There was a sense earlier in the week that, with no further Ebola-related scare stories, the weakness in travel and cruise stocks was viewed by some as a potential investment opportunity.

But the news out of New York has changed the game again," said Jeremy Batstone-Carr, a market analyst at Charles Stanley.

"Going into travel and leisure may be premature. But while it's a risk that's rising on the agenda, it's not necessarily big enough, at this point, to derail the broader FTSE."

BT Group was hurt by a broker downgrade, with its shares falling 2.4 percent after Morgan Stanley cut its stance on the stock to "underweight" from "equal weight".

Tesco also suffered downgrades, extending the previous session's steep losses to fall 1.7 percent.

Both BNP and Deutsche Bank downgraded their target prices for Britain's largest retailer a day after it reported a bigger-than-expected hole in its finances.

However, the index got some mid-session help from pharmaceutical company Shire, which rebounded from an early fall to rise 2.1 percent, making it the top FTSE riser, after reporting results at 1100 GMT.

The company raised its guidance for full-year earnings to underline its strong prospects as a standalone company after AbbVie Inc officially ditched its $55 billion purchase of the group on Tuesday.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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s.rs96@yahoo.com (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui)EuropeFri, 24 Oct 2014 12:46:15 +0000
Weaker travel and leisure stocks push FTSE lower http://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201487-weaker-travel-and-leisure-stocks-push-ftse-lower.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201487-weaker-travel-and-leisure-stocks-push-ftse-lower.htmlimageLONDON: Britain's top share index fell in morning trading on Friday, with airlines and hotel stocks hit by news that a New York City doctor had tested positive for the Ebola virus.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index briefly extended losses after data showed Britain's rapid economic recovery eased in the third quarter as services output growth slowed and manufacturing expanded at the weakest pace in 18 months.

It was 0.3 percent lower at 6,400.59 points by 0839 GMT after closing 0.3 percent higher in the previous session. The benchmark is down about 5 percent so far this year.

The doctor, who treated Ebola patients in West Africa, became the first person to be affected by the virus in America's largest city, raising fresh fears about its spread.

The UK travel and leisure index fell 0.4 percent, dragged down by a 0.5 to 2.1 percent fall in shares of InterContinental Hotels Group, TUI Travel and British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group

"News of Ebola's presence in a major capital and indeed financial centre such as New York is sure to curb recent equity market optimism," said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.

"However, with the sell-off in US futures not being too aggressive and an absence of panic in Asia overnight, investors may be coming to terms with isolated cases and may take this in their stride, with index weakness limited."

BT Group was hurt by a broker downgrade, with its shares falling 2.4 percent after Morgan Stanley cut its stance on the stock to "underweight" from "equal weight".

Shares in AstraZeneca fell 1.2 percent after US company Pfizer, which earlier this year failed in its $118 billion bid to buy the British drugmaker, said late on Thursday that its board of directors had authorised an $11 billion share repurchase programme.

Tesco extended the previous session's steep losses and was down 2 percent as BNP and Deutsche Bank downgraded their target prices for Britain's largest retailer a day after it reported a bigger than expected hole in its finances.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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rocking.saad.jabri@gmail.com (Saad Jabri)EuropeFri, 24 Oct 2014 09:58:44 +0000
European shares fall early after New York Ebola case http://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201463-european-shares-fall-early-after-new-york-ebola-case.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201463-european-shares-fall-early-after-new-york-ebola-case.htmlimagePARIS: European shares fell in early trading on Friday, reversing the previous session's gains, as investors fretted about news that a doctor who had recently returned to New York from West Africa had tested positive for Ebola.

At 0705 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.5 percent at 1,310.25 points.

A New York City doctor who treated Ebola patients in West Africa became the first person to test positive for the virus in America's largest city, setting off fresh fears about the spread of the disease.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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rocking.saad.jabri@gmail.com (Saad Jabri)EuropeFri, 24 Oct 2014 09:24:56 +0000
European shares fall after New York Ebola case http://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201453-european-shares-fall-after-new-york-ebola-case.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201453-european-shares-fall-after-new-york-ebola-case.htmlimagePARIS: European shares fell in early trading on Friday, reversing the previous session's gains as investors fretted about news that a doctor who recently returned to New York from West Africa had tested positive for Ebola.

Shares in luxury group Kering featured among the top losers, down 3.8 percent after posting a drop in sales at its Gucci brand.

BASF fell 2.1 percent after the world's largest chemicals company by sales cut its 2015 earnings forecast on weak demand in its European home markets.

Bucking the trend, shares in global truck maker Volvo jumped 9.6 percent after posting a surprise rise in core earnings.

Belgacom also surged, up 6.5 percent after the Belgian telecoms group raised its 2014 profit forecast after a surprise increase in the third quarter due to improved mobile income and lower costs.

So far in Europe's earnings season, about a fifth of STOXX 600 companies have reported results, of which 68 percent have met or beaten analyst forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data.

In absolute terms, companies have posted a 13.7 percent rise in quarterly profits, well above the 6.8 percent rise posted by S&P 500 companies.

At 0747 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.5 percent at 1,310.68 points, halting a rebound started late last week.

A New York City doctor who treated Ebola patients in West Africa became the first person to test positive for the virus in America's largest city, setting off fresh fears about the spread of the disease.

US stock index futures fell on the news while safe-haven assets such as the yen and US bonds gained ground.

"When the story broke that a doctor in New York was confirmed to have Ebola the Dow futures shed over 100 points," Capital Spreads trader Jonathan Sudaria said.

That trend carried over into European trading. Despite the tentative rebound in stocks earlier this week, investors continued to slash exposure to European equities, with US-based funds invested in European shares seeing outflows for a third straight week, according to Lipper data.

A Lipper survey of 109 US-domiciled funds investing in European shares, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), shows redemptions of $958 million in the seven days to Oct 22, adding to the record weekly outflows of $1.33 billion in the previous week.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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rocking.saad.jabri@gmail.com (Saad Jabri)EuropeFri, 24 Oct 2014 08:52:17 +0000
Britain FTSE 100 edges lower as Tesco's woes mounthttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201343-britain-ftse-100-edges-lower-as-tescos-woes-mount.htmlhttp://www.brecorder.com/markets/equity/europe/201343-britain-ftse-100-edges-lower-as-tescos-woes-mount.htmlimageLONDON: Britain's top equity index edged lower in late trading on Thursday, with a slump in the share prices of supermarket operator Tesco and consumer goods group Unilever hurting sentiment.

Unilever fell 3.3 percent after reporting a weaker-than-expected 2.1 percent rise in third-quarter sales on a slowdown in emerging markets.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index, which has recovered slightly after hitting 15-month lows last week, was down 0.2 percent at 6,386.79 points by 1354 GMT.

The index has fallen around 6 percent since the start of 2014.

Tesco was the worst-performing FTSE 100 stock, down 7.7 percent, after reporting a bigger than expected hole in its accounts.

It found that mistakes in booking income had gone back further than initially thought, forcing it to scrap its full-year profit outlook. The stock has fallen around 50 percent this year. "The lack of any strategy announcement is disappointing," Brewin Dolphin analyst Nik Stanojevic said.

"While the accounting issues are still outstanding, they (shares) could trade lower still. We are also concerned with company stating that it may need to protect and strengthen the balance sheet." Tesco's woes also dragged down the shares of rival supermarket groups. WM Morrison fell 3.7 percent and Sainsbury retreated 3.6 percent.

The FTSE 350 Food & Drug Retailers index slumped 5.8 percent, extending the sector's total losses so far this year to more than 40 percent. "Tesco is not in a position to offer full year profit guidance and management states the need to create head room for the future," Shore Capital analyst Darren Shirley said.

"As such there is a further risk of earnings downgrades, to our minds, with management demonstrably signalling that customers must come first." Property agency Foxtons, which is listed on the mid-cap FTSE 250 index, slumped 17.6 percent after the company said its core earnings would fall due to a sharp drop in demand in the London property market.

The FTSE 100 index hit a peak of 6,904.86 points at the start of September, its highest level since early 2000, but has lost ground since and fell to 15-month lows last week.

Weak economic data has also knocked back European stock markets, with a survey on Thursday showing that a business downturn in France worsened in October.

UK figures also disappointed. Retail sales fell more than expected in September, adding to signs that Britain's economic recovery is losing some of its pace.

"The volatility and uncertainty is here to stay, and we'd look to sell into strength on the FTSE," Central Markets trading analyst Joe Neighbour said.

Copyright Reuters, 2014

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s.rs96@yahoo.com (Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui)EuropeThu, 23 Oct 2014 14:53:39 +0000