- Investors await lender stress-test results on Friday
- Fed rate decision due tomorrow after 2-day policy meeting
European equities struggled for direction for a fourth day, swinging between gains and losses amid earnings reports, before closing little changed.
Automobile-parts maker Faurecia SA added 4.3 percent after raising its 2016 targets. AMS AG rallied 12 percent after the semiconductor company posted better-than-estimated profit and forecast an increase in sales. Commerzbank AG lost 4.5 percent after saying a key measure of its capital strength fell in the second quarter, leading lenders lower before Friday’s bank stress-test results. BP Plc fell 1.3 percent after its profit plunged.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.1 percent at the close, after rising as much as 0.4 percent and sliding 0.6 percent. A rebound that took it to a one-month high last week has stalled, with the gauge trading in a range of less than one point for the past three days amid thin volume.
“We’re getting peace of mind from some of the results,” said Michael Woischneck, who oversees the equivalent of about $190 million at Lampe Asset Management in Dusseldorf, Germany. “We’ve reversed a loss and that’s from good figures from industrial companies, which are the backbone of the economy. And there’s a lot of hope that the Fed will signal the U.S. economy is robust.”
Investors are also awaiting the Federal Reserve’s update after a two-day meeting concludes tomorrow, for clues on the health of the economy and the path of interest-rate increases.
The volume of Stoxx 600 shares changing hands was 36 percent lower than the 30-day average. The benchmark yesterday came within 1 percent of erasing its losses following the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union, before paring gains at the close of trading. It remains below its pre-Brexit level, even as global equities erased similar declines earlier this month.
More than 200 Stoxx 600 companies report earnings this week. Among shares moving on results today, Orange SA fell 3.7 percent after posting a decline in French mobile service revenue and quarterly earnings that matched projections. Michelin & Cie. climbed 1.5 percent after its first-half operating profit beat analyst estimates.
Mediaset SpA tumbled 6.9 percent after Vivendi SA said it’s pulling out of a deal to buy the Italian company’s pay-TV unit. BT Group Plc gained 3.2 percent after U.K. regulator Ofcom called on it to set up a legally separate entity for its broadband network unit, but stopped short of seeking a breakup.