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LIVE MARKETS-European earnings coming and ain't looking bad

Thu, 22nd Oct 2020 07:40

* European shares seen down slightly

* Stock futures down 0.3-0.5%

* Earning updates in focus
Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of markets brought to you by Reuters reporters. You
can share your thoughts with us at markets.research@thomsonreuters.com

EUROPEAN EARNINGS COMING AND AIN'T LOOKING BAD (0639 GMT)

Besides the undesirable uncertainty about U.S. stimulus and the growing COVID-19 concerns,
investors will have to deal with several earnings updates in Europe this morning.

Let's start from the good-looking ones, which appear to be outnumbering the others,
underscoring the pace of the recovery over the latest quarter.

Swedish bank SEB reported better-than-expected net profit for Q3 due to higher
lending margins and a recovery in its payments business, despite increased loan losses as the
coronavirus pandemic led to more sour debt.

Norway's DNB posted a smaller than expected drop in Q3 profits and said the
business impact from the coronavirus pandemic had not been as severe as anticipated.

Unilever, reported a stronger-than-expected return to sales growth in Q3.

French electrical equipment group Schneider Electric raised its 2020 outlook,
citing a better-than-expected Q3 due to pent-up demand and restocking of inventories by
distributors.

Finnish biofuel producer and oil refiner Neste reported a smaller-than-expected
fall in Q3 profit, thanks to its resilient renewables business and despite a very weak refining
market.

And here are the ones which are in-line or look somewhat mixed:

French-Italian chipmaker STMicro's Q3 earnings met market expectations, confirming
that strong demand from the auto and mobile industries drove up revenues.

Swedish steelmaker SSAB posted a quarterly operating loss in line with analysts'
forecasts due to slow demand, but said activity had picked up towards the end of the quarter.

French spirits maker Pernod Ricard said sales would return to growth in the second
half of its 2020/2021 fiscal year, although the downturn in travel retail and disruptions from
the COVID-19 crisis would still impact its Q2.

And finally the bad ones:

British Airways-owner IAG reported a 1.3 billion euro loss in Q3 as coronavirus
restrictions continue to depress travel, forcing it to further downgrade its capacity outlook
for the rest of the year.

Engineering group Alfa Laval reported Q3 core earnings below market forecasts but
said it expected demand to be somewhat higher in the fourth quarter.

(Danilo Masoni)

*****

EUROPE SET TO OPEN ON THE BACK FOOT (0525 GMT)

The more uncertain prospect in the U.S. of a pre-election deal over a fiscal stimulus
package are set to weigh on sentiment in Europe this morning with stock index futures pointing
to a lower open following losses in Asia and on Wall Street overnight.

High-level talks on a new coronavirus aid bill in the world's No.1 economy faced a setback
late yesterday when Trump accused Democrats of being unwilling to craft an acceptable
compromise, despite reports of some progress earlier in the day.

Meantime, Covid-19 infections in Europe are surging with countries from Poland to Portugal
expressing mounting alarm at the renewed crisis confronting their health infrastructure.

EuroSTOXX 50 and DAX futures are both down 0.5% while FTSE futures are falling 0.4%.

(Danilo Masoni)

****

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