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European Markets at Close Report

Aug 3, 2016

European Markets at Close Report, by CNBC on August, 3, 2016: European Stocks Close Mixed; HSBC, SocGen Rally

Arjun Kharpal, Holly Ellyatt

European stocks closed mixed on Wednesday after a slew of earnings, with banking stocks rallying.
The pan-European STOXX 600 closed roughly flat on Wednesday afternoon.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 and Spanish IBEX ended down around 0.1 percent. The French CAC 40 closed unofficially 0.3 percent lower.
On the gainers list, the German DAX closed roughly 0.2 percent higher and the FTSE MIB was up around 0.3 percent.
Wall Street's major indexes were trading higher when European markets closed.
FTSE FTSE 6639.76 -5.64 -0.08% 532110796
DAX DAX 10169.34 25.00 0.25% 72396597
CAC CAC 4318.44 -9.55 -0.22% 81097478
IBEX 35 IBEX 35 Idx 8276.00 -1.30 -0.02% 195898772

Banks in focus

Bank stocks were in focus after getting hammered Tuesday. HSBC, one of Britain's largest lenders, reported a year-on-year drop of almost 29 percent in first-half profit before tax. However, it also announced a $2.5 billion share buyback plan, which sent the stock over 5 percent higher.
Societe Generale beat expectations for the second quarter, sending shares up 3.9 percent. Chief Executive Frederic Oudea told CNBC he was comfortable with current capital levels, despite the French bank's somewhat-weak performance in recent stress tests.
Meanwhile, Credit Agricole said its second-quarter net income was up nearly 26 percent, adding that it had completed an overhaul of the group's structure. The announcement was cheered by investors, but the stock later pared gains.
Dutch bank ING Group was up over 9 percent before paring gains after it reported second-quarter underlying net result up nearly 27 percent year-on-year.
Shares of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS) rallied after Il Sole 24 Ore reported that six more banks were set to join the eight that are already part of a consortium underwriting a 5 billion euro ($5.6 billion)-cash call by the troubled Italian lender.
Unicredit shares plunged after its earnings results and were suspended for trade during the session.

Earnings watch

Miner Rio Tinto reported a 47 percent year-on-year plunge in underlying earnings in the first half of the year, warning that the "global macro-economic environment that is still fragile". Shares were slightly lower.
The insurance names are also in focus after AXA, Europe's second-biggest insurer, reported a 4 percent rise in first-half net profit that fell short of analyst expectations. Shares in the French firm were lower.
Elsewhere, British retailer Next said full price sales in the second quarter were 0.3 percent higher year-on-year, but warned sales in 2016 could fall by 2.5 percent. Still, this was improved guidance from the clothing store, which helped its shares rally on Wednesday.
Stock of Deutsche Post was near the top of the STOXX 600 after it sold its long-distance bus unit and posted a 40 percent rise in group earnings before interest and tax in the second quarter.
At the other end of the STOXX 600, Aggreko tanked over 12 percent after the temporary power equipment maker reported a sharp fall in first-half pre-tax profit.
And shares of price comparison website Moneysupermarket fell sharply despite a rise in first-half profit, after the chief executive Peter Plumb said he was stepping down.