European markets edge lower on earnings; Next jumps 9.8%; Adidas down 1.1%

The pan-European Stoxx 600 edged down by 0.17 percent shortly after the opening bell with almost all sectors and major bourses in negative territory.

Oil and gas stocks led the losses on Thursday morning amid worse-than-anticipated earnings. Neste reported a narrow miss on profits in the second quarter and shares of the Finnish oil refining firm slipped almost 6 percent.

Retail stocks were the best performing, up 0.5 percent in early morning deals. British clothing retailer Next posted a return to quarterly sales growth on Thursday, supported by an improvement in product ranges and a spell of warmer weather. The company said full price sales rose 0.7 percent in the three months through June. Its shares surged almost 10 percent higher.

Looking at individual stocks, Italy’s largest bank by assets, Unicredit reported better-than-expected net profits in the second quarter of 2017. The lender attributed the uptick in performance to lower costs and a drop in loan-loss charges. Its shares were trading nearly 5 percent higher.

German sportswear firm Adidas, posted another quarter of sales growth in China and North America on Thursday, as it profited from its retro styles and footwear. The firm said its sales grew almost 30 percent in China and around 26 percent in North America, although they fell 11 percent in the Russian market. Shares were more than 1 percent lower.

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