European Stocks Hold Steady as AstraZeneca Sinks, Diageo Climbs

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Deutsche Bank CEO Cryan on 2Q Results, Brexit

European stock investors weighed mixed corporate results on one of the earnings season’s busiest days, leaving the region’s equity benchmark little changed.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index lost 0.1 percent at the close. AstraZeneca Plc sank 15 percent after a setback for its cancer therapy in one of the industry’s most-anticipated drug studies. Beverage companies Diageo Plc and Anheuser-Busch InBev NV climbed around 6 percent each after their results.

A long-awaited earnings revival has boosted European equities in 2017, even though a recent rally in the euro is stoking concern that it could derail the recovery. If the single currency reaches $1.20, that would be the pain threshold at which it would hurt profits, a survey showed.

  • Food-and-drinks shares were the best performers in the Stoxx 600. Diageo rose after raising its three-year profitability goal and announcing a share buyback, while AB InBev reported quarterly earnings growth that beat analysts’ estimates.
  • Also active on corporate results:
    • Deutsche Bank AG dropped 6.5 percent after warning that revenues of its operating businesses will decline this year. The lender on Thursday reported a 10 percent decline in second-quarter revenue, the weakest quarter in 3 1/2 years.
    • Anglo American Plc added 3.2 percent after saying it will pay its first dividend since 2015 earlier than expected.
    • Schneider Electric SE rose 3.8 percent after raising its full-year target for sales growth and agreeing to buy U.S. power-systems maker ASCO Power Technologies for $1.25 billion.
    • Deutsche Boerse AG fell 3.8 percent after the exchange operator said it will take a better trading environment just to meet the low end of its 2017 earnings forecast.

— With assistance by Elena Popina

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