Following a week of broadly uninterrupted gains for Europe’s national benchmark equities indices, France’s CAC 40 is down 0.33% into the afternoon. European equities are seeing a small correction today with modest losses across most averages as a lack of positive catalysts and some mixed earnings reports act as a drag preventing further gains today.
In the U.S., where Wednesday’s session saw further gains and fresh territory explored by the three major indices, the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq, up 0.5%, 0.5% and 0.6% respectively, Fed boss Yellen’s hawkish comments earlier in the week were still providing fuel. Indices were subsequently mixed during Thursday’s Asia session earlier today and European indices opened this morning mainly flat to slightly down on yesterday’s closing positions.
The financial sector, particularly banks, have been performing well this week on the prospect of Fed interest rate rises but have slipped back today. Of the CAC’s three banking stocks, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole are down by 0.42% and 1.18% respectively though Societe Generale has managed to record a 0.3% gain so far. Insurer AXA is down 0.89%.
In automotive sector, Renault is down 0.25% and Peugeot 0.4%. Car parts manufacturer and after sales services provider Valeo has dropped by 1.38% and Michelin 0.42%. Steelmaker ArcelorMittal has shed 1.41% and aerospace company Safran 1.94% after news yesterday that activist hedge fund TCI is looking to block its attempted acquisition of French peer Zodiac.
Dairy group Danone has slipped by 1.84%. Delivering its 2016 results yesterday the group warned that profit growth was expected to slow in 2017 and that a program to cut costs by 1 billion euros by 2020 was being put in place. Another FMCG company, personal care products giant L’Oreal is also down 1.64% today. Offshore oil and gas industry contractor TechnipFMC has lost 1.41%.
The day’s biggest faller, however, is energy management and automation giant Schneider Electric, down 4.76%, despite posting a 24% rise in 2016 profits today. The strong profits were fueled by the impact of a cost cutting program and a fall in amortization expenses. Revenue, however, fell by 7.3% as a result of sold business units and currency headwinds.
Management and IT consultants CapGemini are the strongest gainers today, up 2.58% after releasing their earnings report. Revenues increased 5.2% and operating profit 12%, though net profit dropped by 18%. A positive sign of development was that Cloud and Digital revenues accounted for 30% of group revenues in 2016. Nokia is up 1.13%.