European Stocks Fall as U.S. Jobs Report Fails to Allay Concern
European stocks retreated, with the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index posting its biggest weekly loss since November 2008, as a U.S. jobs report failed to allay concern that the global economy is struggling.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS) tumbled 6.9 percent after posting a wider-than-expected first-half loss. Allianz SE (ALV), Europe’s biggest insurer, lost 4.5 percent after reporting second-quarter net income that missed analysts’ estimates. Telecom Italia SpA (TIT) jumped the most in more than a year. Natixis (KN) SA rose 11 percent as CA Cheuvreux recommended buying the stock.
The Stoxx 600 slipped 1.8 percent to 238.88 at the 4:30 p.m. close in London, extending its weekly drop to 9.9 percent. The benchmark measure has declined 18 percent from this year’s high on Feb. 17 amid speculation that Europe will fail to contain its sovereign-debt crisis and that the U.S.’s economic recovery is faltering.
“The markets want to see a solution that is sustainable in Europe,” said Markus Steinbeis, head of equity portfolio management at the Unterfoehring, Germany-based unit of Pioneer Investments KGmbH, which oversees about $221 billion globally. “The European Monetary Union is facing the risk of collapsing. The market is afraid of a recession. There’s a point where sentiment is collapsing and maybe this point is right now.”
Trading in Euro Stoxx 50 futures and Stoxx 600 shares amounted to more than twice the daily average this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
U.S. Jobs, Unemployment
European stocks climbed earlier after a report today showed that the U.S. economy added 117,000 jobs in July, more than the 85,000 average estimate of 88 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The unemployment rate dropped to 9.1 percent as more Americans left the labor force. Economists had forecast a rate of 9.2 percent.
National benchmark indexes retreated in every western European market except Sweden and Iceland today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index slid 2.7 percent, Germany’s DAX Index dropped 2.8 percent and France’s CAC 40 Index (CAC) slipped 1.3 percent.
RBS slumped 6.9 percent to 28.2 pence after reporting a first-half net loss of 1.4 billion pounds ($2.3 billion). That was wider than the 571 million-pound loss estimated by five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The Edinburgh-based lender wrote down the value of its Greek debt holdings by 733 million pounds, it said in a statement today.
Allianz Shares Fall
Allianz declined 4.5 percent to 79.10 euros, its lowest price since June 2010. The Munich-based insurer said second- quarter net income declined to 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion). That fell short of the 1.28 billion-euro average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Allianz wrote down its Greek debt holdings by 326 million euros at the end of June.
Logica Plc (LOG) tumbled 14 percent to 88.6 pence for the worst performance in the Stoxx 600. The Anglo-Dutch computer services provider reported first-half earnings that missed analysts’ estimates. Net income declined 14 percent to 58.4 million pounds in the first half as government customers in the Netherlands cut costs, the company said. That missed the 62.4 million-pound average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Securitas AB (SECUB) slid 11 percent to 52.15 kronor, its largest decline since August 2006. The second-biggest guarding-services provider posted second-quarter net income of 368 million kronor ($56.7 million), compared with 471 million kronor a year earlier. That missed the mean estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 419 million kronor.
Delhaize, Rio Tinto
Delhaize Group SA (DELB) lost 3.5 percent to 45.39 euros after the owner of the Food Lion supermarkets in the U.S. reported earnings before interest and taxes that missed analysts’ estimates as store-remodeling costs and price cuts to revive U.S. sales growth outpaced savings.
Telecom Italia jumped 6.4 percent to 85.4 euro cents after saying second-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 4.9 percent to 3.05 billion euros, according to presentation slides posted on its website today. Analysts had estimated Ebitda of 3 billion euros.
Natixis SA surged 11 percent to 3.07 euros, its biggest gain since May 2010, as the investment-banking unit of France’s second-largest bank by branches was raised to “outperform” from “underperform” at Cheuvreux.
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