European shares broadly flat to lower, as earnings weigh on economic optimism

European shares were mixed in early afternoon trade, as investors attempt to shrug off some earnings led losses. Upbeat German GDP data is working to boost sentiment, although its likely investors are awaiting some direction from key results due Friday from US banks.

European shares broadly flat to lower, as earnings weigh on economic optimism

European shares were mixed to lower, in early afternoon trade, as investors attempt to shrug off some earnings led losses. Upbeat German GDP data is working to boost sentiment, although its likely investors are awaiting some direction from key results due Friday from US banks.

By 1305 BST, the EUROSTOXX 600 was trading 0.27% lower, while the EUROSTOXX 50 was 0.05% in the red. The regional bourses were faring little better. The German DAX was down 0.23%, the French CAC was 0.07% lower, while the Spanish IBEX was 0.34% in positive territory.

Earnings reports disappoint

A number of earnings reports earlier Thursday are weighing on the market.

Danish jeweller Pandora reported earnings growth below expectations of 37.3%. And, although it anticipates even slower growth going forward, it is putting together a strategy to bolster its performance in the face of a wider industry slowdown.

Pandora shares were 11.54% lower at DKK587.80, a mild recovery from the 15% decline earlier in the session.

And, just a day after securing a new partnership with Huawei, Sodexo shares also slid Thursday. The French services and catering group disappointed expectations with a 2.6% decline in first-quarter revenues. Sodexo shares were 4.3% in the red at €105.60.

Other fallers included:

  • Altice shares down 8.03% to €8.91.
  • Tesco shares fell 4.34% to £202.70.
  • Marks and Spencer shares lost 6.42% to £303.20.

German GDP data offers some hope

Amid the disappointing earnings reports, the latest German GDP data release offered a ray of sunshine to some investors.

German statistic office, Destatis said Thursday that the German economy grew 2.2% in 2017 compared with 2016. That’s the highest pace of GDP expansion in six years.

Household spending was the main driver of the acceleration in growth, Destatis said. Meanwhile, the number of people in employment during 2017 was at a record high of just under 44.3 million, representing an increase of some 1.5% from 2016.

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