Energy, Banking Shares Weigh on European Stocks Amid Earnings

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Earnings Trumped Rhetoric for Markets, Says Kantor

European stocks held steady as earnings-related gains in companies including Next Plc and UniCredit SpA offset losses in energy firms.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added less than 0.1 percent at the close. The benchmark has struggled to recover since it reached a three-month low last week amid carmaker woes and a strengthening euro, and it’s lagging global peers. Recent gains in the single currency are threatening a long-awaited earnings recovery in the region.

  • Oil-and-gas producers and lenders were among the worst performers on the Stoxx 600, following declines in crude prices. Neste Oyj slid as much as 6.3 percent after its operating profit missed estimates.
  • Among shares active on earnings reports, BMW AG added as much as 1.6 percent after its quarterly earnings beat projections.
    • Next jumped 9.7 percent on better-than-forecast sales and UniCredit gained 7.2 percent after posting a surprise surge in profit.
  • The FTSE 100 Index rose 0.9 percent. Four of its members, including heavyweights HSBC Holdings Plc and Unilever, traded without the right to dividend on Thursday, knocking 8.3 points off the benchmark.

— With assistance by Elena Popina

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