European shares flat as deal boost fails to offset trade worries

  07 May 2019    Read: 1237
European shares flat as deal boost fails to offset trade worries

European shares flitted between slight gains and losses amid a flurry of deal-making and earnings as investors cautiously tracked developments around U.S.-China trade talks.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was flat by 0850 GMT. London’s FTSE 100 underperformed as investors returned from a long weekend.

Milan’s FTMIB and Madrid’s IBEX 35 index were up more than 0.3 percent, helped by dealmaking activities.

Italy’s biggest bank UniCredit said it was considering a sale of its FinecoBank unit and had adopted measures to ensure the online broker could operate outside the group.

“The timing is a little surprising and may reignite concerns that UniCredit are still facing upwards pressure of capital requirements, however this decision does seem more strategic than forced,” said Russell Quelch, financials analyst at Redburn.

“As an independent entity we suspect Fineco could in time become a target for others who want to establish a presence in the Italian AM industry.”

Across the region, banks fell 0.7 percent, the biggest sectoral decline.

Spain’s Cellnex said it had the go-ahead to buy Iliad’s mobile tower assets in France and Italy for 2 billion euros ($2.24 billion). Both Cellenex and Illiad were among top performers on the STOXX 600.

Germany’s biggest residential property company Vonovia pushed the real estate sector up more than 1.5 percent after it raised its full-year profit guidance.

France’s Alstom rose after the transport infrastructure group posted a stronger annual profit, boosted by orders and contracts.

Among decliners, Henkel slid more than 4 percent after the German consumer goods company reported a disappointing quarter of earnings as its adhesives business was hit by falling industrial production and its beauty unit underperformed in western Europe and China.

G4S shares lost 2 percent after Garda World Security Corp dropped interest in its cash solutions business.

Tariff-exposed auto sector fell for the second session. BMW led losses after reporting a 78 percent fall in quarterly operating profit, as it took a hit from higher investment spending and a legal provision.

Equity markets around the world were hit on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to hike tariffs on Chinese goods by Friday. China still said that Vice Premier Liu He will visit the U.S. on May 9 and 10 for trade talks.

As trade headlines deepen global growth worries, latest data showed German industrial orders rose less than expected in March.



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