European Stocks Fall as LVMH Leads Luxury Retailers LowerSofia Horta e Costa
European stocks fell the most in a week, extending losses in the final half hour of trading, as companies including LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA and Statoil ASA posted earnings that missed forecasts.
LVMH fell the most since August 2011 after the world’s largest luxury-goods company also said demand weakened in Asia. Air France-KLM Group climbed 2.6 percent after reporting second-quarter profit that beat estimates. Sky Deutschland AG added 1.4 percent after British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc offered to buy the German broadcaster. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc rallied the most in more than four years after saying first-half profit almost doubled.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 0.7 percent to 341.95 at the close of trading. The equity gauge has gained 0.7 percent this week as companies from Danske Bank A/S to Actelion Ltd. raised their annual earnings projections.
“Retail is hitting sentiment,” said Michael Woischneck, who helps oversee about 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) at Lampe Asset Management in Dusseldorf. “I was quite surprised by LVMH and didn’t see that profit miss coming. But we’re still not that far into the earnings season and this week has been fine, with quite a few companies reporting very good numbers. Banks are holding up quite well.”
German consumer confidence will increase in August to its highest level since December 2006, according to forecasts from GfK SE, a Nuremberg-based market research company. A separate report from the Ifo institute showed business confidence in Europe’s largest economy slipped in July more than economists had forecast, for its third straight monthly decline.
National benchmark indexes declined in 13 of the 18 western-European markets. France’s CAC 40 slid 1.8 percent, Germany’s DAX slipped 1.5 percent, and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 fell 0.4 percent.
LVMH lost 6.8 percent to 131.65 euros after saying first-half profit from recurring operations fell 5 percent to 2.58 billion euros. Analysts had predicted 2.76 billion euros. Asian demand weakened in the second quarter, led by slower Chinese spending, Chief Financial Officer Jean-Jacques Guiony said on a conference call. He also cited political unrest in Hong Kong and sales tax in Japan, and said the disappearance of a Malaysian passenger jet affected sales in Singapore and Thailand.
Christian Dior SA dropped 6.3 percent to 136.65 euros, Kering lost 4.9 percent to 151.50 euros, and Cie. Financiere Richemont SA declined 2.3 percent to 88.20 Swiss francs. A gauge of personal and household goods companies posted the third-worst performance of the 19 industries on the Stoxx 600.
Statoil fell 2.5 percent to 184 kroner. Norway’s biggest energy company said adjusted earnings after tax dropped to 9.9 billion kroner ($1.6 billion) in the second quarter from 11.3 billion kroner a year earlier. That missed the 10.9 billion-krone average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Air France-KLM advanced 2.6 percent to 8.85 euros. The airline group posted operating profit of 238 million euros for the second quarter, up from 84 million euros a year earlier as it benefited from cost cuts, and announced another five-year plan to drive down expenses. That beat the median estimate of analysts for 190 million euros.
Sky Deutschland rose 1.4 percent to 6.75 euros. Kronen tausend985 GmbH, a subsidiary of BSkyB, offered to pay 6.75 euros per share for the rest of Sky Deutschland after agreeing to buy 21st Century Fox Inc.’s 57.4 percent stake in the German broadcaster. BSkyB fell 5.5 percent to 874.5 pence.
RBS rallied 11 percent to 364.2 pence after saying in an advance statement that first-half pretax profit increased to 2.65 billion pounds ($4.5 billion) from 1.37 billion pounds a year earlier. Operating profit probably jumped to 2.6 billion pounds from 708 million pounds, the lender said.
CaixaBank SA climbed 3.2 percent to 4.54 euros. The Spanish lender said second-quarter net income rose to 153 million euros from 73 million euros a year earlier, beating the 110.8 million-euro average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Charges for impaired assets dropped to 664 million euros from 925 million euros a year earlier, the bank said.
A gauge of banking stocks posted the second-biggest gain on the Stoxx 600, rising 0.7 percent to a three-week high.
Balfour Beatty Plc rallied 9.1 percent to 253.1 pence, and Carillion Plc added 7.2 percent to 362.8 pence, after saying they are in preliminary merger talks to form the U.K.’s biggest builder.