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LIVE MARKETS-On the radar: BP and Direct Line's dividend, Metro, Infineon

Tue, 4th Aug 2020 07:52

Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters
stocks reporters. You can share your thoughts with Joice Alves (joice.alves@thomsonreuters.com)
and Julien Ponthus (julien.ponthus@thomsonreuters.com) in London and Stefano Rebaudo
(stefano.rebaudo@thomsonreuters.com) in Milan.

ON THE RADAR: BP AND DIRECT LINE'S DIVIDEND, METRO, INFINEON

After yesterday's rally, futures are pointing to an open in positive territory for European
bourses helped by strong U.S. manufacturing data and gains in tech stocks. But BP's historic
dividend cut could spoil the mood a little.

BP cuts its dividend for the first time in a decade after reporting a record $6.7 billion
loss in Q2 as the coronavirus crisis hammered energy demand.

Meantime, Britain's biggest car insurer Direct Line boosted its interim dividend and
declared a special payout to make up for cancelling its 2019 dividend, after reporting a small
drop in H1 operating profit.

Shares in Hugo Boss are down 1.7% in early trade after the company reported an overall 59%
fall in sales in Q2, despite in China in June sales jumped 74%.

Shares in Metro are up 4.9% in premarket trade after the company forecast that a
sales decline in its fiscal year through September would be limited to 3.5%-5% because its
business with hotels and restaurants has picked up since May.

Diageo, the world's largest spirits maker, reported a bigger-than-expected decline in
underlying net sales as demand for its whiskeys, vodka and gin fell in all markets except North
America.

Austrian chipmaker AT&S posted a 13.2% increase in its Q1 core profit and forecast its
profitability would increase in the Q2 thanks to strong demand from smartphone makers and
industrial customers.

Shares in German chemicals group Evonik Industries are up 3% after higher-than-feared
quarterly adjusted core profit, citing cost cuts.

Fraport shares are up 2.5% in early trade after results.

German chipmaker Infineon stocks are up 3.2% in early trade after results.

Bayer stocks are down 0.9% in early trade after the company reported a 9.5
billion euro net loss for the second quarter, following a $10.9 billion settlement of U.S.
lawsuits claiming that its weedkiller Roundup caused cancer.

In the M&A world, Canadian infrastructure fund Brookfield is studying a takeover of Spain's
Merlin Properties, the Expansion newspaper reported.

(Joice Alves and Stefano Rebaudo)

*****

MORNING CALL: EU BOURSES POISED FOR MORE GAINS (0535 GMT)

After a solid rally on Monday, European shares are seen in positive territory as investors
are upbeat after strong U.S. manufacturing data and gains in tech stocks. They also hope for a
fresh U.S. fiscal stimulus package.

"Call it a market rally, or a stock market inflation, the global equity markets are poised
for more gains on hope that more stimulus would support economies, or at least the stock
prices," writes Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.

However, worries about a resurgence of the coronavirus and a diplomatic tussle over Chinese
tech companies' operations in the U.S. are keeping some investors on their toes.

Financial spreadbetters at IG expect London's FTSE to open 12 points lower at 6,021,
Frankfurt's DAX to open 10 points higher at 12,657 and Paris' CAC to open 9 points higher at
4,885.

BP, Qiagen, Accor and Diageo are some of the companies reporting earnings today.

(Joice Alves)

*****

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