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European Shares Down Following Disappointing Results



European shares had a dip on Thursday, having been let down by earnings updates from some of its largest corporations. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down by 0.3 percent, due to disappointing news from Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk, Deutsche Bank and a handful of other blue-chip companies. The FTSE on the other hand was up by 0.5 percent. The European market had been enjoying a strong run for the past eleven weeks, due in part to high hopes regarding Donald Trump’s presidency and the announcement of a big stimulus package. However, optimism has waned following concern over his extreme protectionist policies and its implications for European firms. The STTOXX 600 had been riding a 13-month high last month, but has already lost 1 percent this week, the most since Trump was voted president.

“I think you can blame some of that on Trump ‘the trade warrior’, while after the election everybody was only thinking about him being profligate,” said Arne Petimezas, analyst at AFS Group. The ‘Trump factor’ was only partly the cause. Deutsche bank posted a loss of 1.9 billion euros in the fourth quarter of 2016. The announcement brought its shares down by 5.2 percent. While the German bank’s performance wasn’t all bad, legal costs regarding the case with the U.S. justice department hampered profits. “The bank is still undergoing a significant restructuring process and … the numbers don’t really shed any further light on whether the bank will need to raise extra capital, in order to meet future international bank liquidity rules,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. Novo Nordisk shares were down 7.3 percent, as it announced that fourth quarter earnings were below expectations. Daimler shares were down 2.7 percent for the same reason, following lacklustre sales in the U.S. and China. The European STOXX Tech Index was up by almost 2 percent, following positive earnings results by Nokia and Dassault System, among others. It is now at its highest level in 14 years.


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