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Brewer InBev triggers retreat for European shares

Stock MarketsOct 25, 2019 04:46AM ET
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By Agamoni Ghosh and Lisa Pauline Mattackal

(Reuters) - European shares fell for the first time this week on Friday, as a 10% slide in shares of brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev sent a shiver through investors worried about the outlook for growth and the prospect of months more wrangling over Brexit.

The pan-European STOXX 600 (STOXX) dipped 0.2%, but was still on track to end a busy week of corporate earnings higher after a handful of industry heavyweights topped low market expectations.

The food and beverage sector (SX3P) led losses on Friday, however, after Anheuser-Busch InBev (BR:ABI) came in below analysts' forecasts for quarterly profit and cut its forecasts for improvement in its bottom line this year.

Shares of German telecoms operator 1&1 Drillisch (DE:DRIG) and its parent company United Internet (DE:UTDI) also tanked after the former' s request to review prices under an agreement with rival Telefonica (MC:TEF) Deutschland (DE:O2Dn) was rejected.

"Today's moves seem to have trimmed some of the progress we have seen on the week," said Ken Odeluga, an analyst with City Index in London.

"You have a mechanical effect from that 10% decline in AB InBev but you can't really generalize. We may not see a stellar earnings season but with expectations so low there will be more beats for sure."

On the bright side, France's CAC 40 (FCHI) outperformed as Gucci owner Kering (PA:PRTP) jumped 8%, while Italian jacket maker Moncler (MI:MONC) rose 7%. The companies joined other luxury labels in easing fears of a major third quarter sales hit from the protests in Hong Kong.

Limiting those gains was a 20% fall in shares of entertainment company Ubisoft (PA:UBIP), which lost roughly a quarter of its value after cutting its 2020 earnings guidance.

Among banks, Spain's Banco Sabadell (MC:SABE) and Britain's Barclays (L:BARC) both rose after reporting better-than-expected third-quarter earnings.


London's FTSE 100 (FTSE), Dublin stocks (ISEQ) and the pound all edged lower, as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson conceded for the first time on Thursday that he could not meet his Oct. 31 Brexit deadline.

British housebuilders (FTNMX3720), which are considered among sectors most exposed to the domestic economy, dipped 0.3%in their fifth straight session of losses.

Investors now await the European Union's response to a British request to delay Brexit again and a summit in Chile where U.S. President Donald Trump hopes to finalise a partial trade deal with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Brewer InBev triggers retreat for European shares

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