European shares see off week lower as rising yields, L'Oreal losses weigh By Reuters
2024-02-10 01:21:09
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By Shristi Achar A and Shashwat Chauhan

(Reuters) -European shares ended slightly lower on Friday as advances in Ubisoft and Hermes were undercut by sliding L'Oreal shares, while rising government bond yields also exerted some pressure.

The pan-European index closed 0.1% lower, though logging a 0.2% advance for the week.

L'Oreal dropped 7.6% after the French cosmetics company reported underwhelming fourth-quarter sales growth.

Banks lost 0.3% as BNP Paribas (OTC:) eased 2% after UBS downgraded the French lender to "neutral" from "buy".

On the bright side, healthcare stocks were amongst top gainers, helped by a 9.7% rise in Coloplast (CSE:) after the Danish medical equipment maker reported better-than-expected first-quarter results.

Hermes shares rose 4.8%, notching a record high after the Birkin bag maker said it will further raise prices as its sales outpaced luxury competitors at the end of 2023.

Ubisoft jumped 13.8% after the video games group reported third-quarter net bookings slightly above its forecast.

Europe's technology sector continued its stellar run, advancing 1.2% on the day and taking its tally of consecutive daily gains to seven.

Fourth-quarter earnings are estimated to decrease 7.6% year-on-year for STOXX 600 firms, according to LSEG data, with just about 55% of the 85 companies that have reported so far beating profit expectations.

"Companies have been in a high input cost environment for a long time (and) we're seeing a slow down in demand. So the way they are trying to manage is by giving out on margins," said Anthi Tsouvali, multi asset strategist at (NYSE:) Global Markets.

While some strong quarterly earnings updates have propelled the benchmark index to eke out modest weekly gains, investor concerns over elevated interest rates for long have kept further gains in check.

Hurting equities on the day, the yield on the German 10-year government bond rose for third-straight session, last at 2.38%, as bets of an early interest-rate cut by the European Central Bank eased after several rate-setters warned against such a move. [GVD/EUR]

Utilities, often noted as a bond proxy, fell 1.0%.

Money markets now see a near 48% chance of a rate cut in April, having fully priced in such a move at the end of January. [0#ECBWATCH]

Among other earnings, Saab jumped 4.2% after the defence equipment maker lifted mid-term sales growth targets.

Sweco shed 13.7% to the bottom of STOXX 600 after the Swedish engineering and architecture consultancy company posted fourth-quarter EBITA below expectations.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Pfandbriefbank (PBB) shares extended their declines, down 3.0% over concerns over its exposure to the U.S. commercial real estate market.

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