UPDATE 2-Publicis leads as earnings dominate Europe's trading session

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
UPDATE 2-Publicis leads as earnings dominate Europe's trading session
Credit: © Reuters.

* STOXX 600 flat

* Publicis jumps over 6 pct after results

* ABB, Schneider drive industrials up after profit beats

* Tobacco shares fall after Philip Morris earnings (Adds closing prices)

By Helen Reid

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - Advertising group Publicis and industrial stocks led European shares on Thursday as strong results spurred them higher, while the main indexes stalled, showing signs of fatigue after a two-day rally took them to six-week highs.

The pan-European STOXX 600 .STOXX index ended flat, while European bourses closed little changed - Paris' CAC 40 .FCHI was up 0.21 percent, while Germany's DAX .GDAXI lost 0.17 percent.

With no major macroeconomic news, earnings dominated trading and Publicis PUBP.PA led the pack with its shares rising to the top of the STOXX after delivering a first-quarter sales beat helped by a rebound in North American activities. shares jumped 7.3 percent, boosting the media sector .SXMP .

"The fact we have now had a second agency group (after U.S. firm Omnicom on Tuesday) report top-line positive organic revenue growth should reassure", Liberum analysts said.

Publicis' British rival WPP WPP.L also gained 3.6 percent as the results helped improve sentiment towards agencies.

Industrial groups also shone, with Swiss industrial equipment maker ABB ABBN.S rising 4.6 percent after reporting its best start to the year since 2015, while rival Siemens SIEGn.DE rose 1.4 percent. was also disappointing news on the earnings front, though, with the results of Philip Morris PM.N in the United States triggered falls across the tobacco sector in Europe. British American Tobacco BATS.L and Imperial Brands IMB.L shed 5.4 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.

Novartis NOVN.S shares fell 1.9 percent as Baader Helvea analysts pointed to a weaker first-quarter performance for its Sandoz unit in the United States, and lower than expected profitability in the Innovative Medicine segment. from Nestle NESN.S and Unilever ULVR.L , meanwhile, reignited concerns about large consumer goods firms' pricing power declined 2.1 percent and Nestle ended up 0.2 percent.

"We expect chronically weak pricing from both Unilever and Nestle to play to the market's fears of weak pricing power, fuelled by channel shift, in the face of rising commodities," said Jefferies analysts in a note.

Tech stocks also held the STOXX back, with chipmakers AMS AMS.S , Siltronic WAFGn.DE , STMicro STM.MI , and ASML ASML.AS down between 3 and 6 percent after Taiwan Semiconductor 2330.TW reported weaker than expected results. and acquisition news also drove some big share price moves. Shares in Britain's Shire SHP.L jumped 5.9 percent as

Botox maker Allergan (NYSE: AGN ) AGN.N and Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical 4502.T entered competing talks to acquire it, in a deal set to top $60 billion. Group WEIR.L shares jumped 6.2 percent to the top of the STOXX after the firm agreed to acquire U.S. mining tools maker ESCO for $1.05 billion. April 19 Euro zone earnings revisions

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