European Shares Narrowly Mixed, Earnings Help Offset More Hawkish Fed

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European bourses cut early losses made after the Federal Reserve's statement on Wednesday was more hawkish than expected. Earnings news buoyed sentiment.

Investors were expecting the Fed to begin tapering in March but after the Fed noted underlying strength in the economy, some were beginning to move expectations to January.

In Germany, GfK's forward-looking consumer sentiment indicator fell for the first time in 10 months, dropping to 7.0 points in November after hitting a six-year high of 7.1 points in October. Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast an increase to 7.2 points.

Retail sales in September dropped 0.4% from August, falling short of economists' forecasts for a 0.3% gain, data from the federal statistics office showed. Sales volumes hit their lowest level since March.

Meanwhile, GfK NOP said its monthly gauge of the mood among households in the UK, based on data compiled by the European Commission, fell to -11 in October from -10 in September. That month's reading was the highest since late 2007.

The annual rate of consumer price rises in the eurozone fell to 0.7% in October, the lowest since November 2009, from 1.1% in September, according to preliminary figures from Eurostat, the European Union's statistics agency.

Eurostat said the unemployment rate in the euro area remained at a record high of 12.2% in September, above expectations for 12%.

In ADR news, Anheuser-Busch InBev N.V.( BUD ) said Q3 net profit was $2.21 billion, up from $1.84 billion a year earlier. Revenue increased 3% to $11.73 billion.

Alcatel Lucent ( ALU ) reports a Q3 loss of EUR200 mln, vs. a year ago loss of EUR316 mln. Revenue was up almost 2% to EUR3.67 bln. The company also said it is exceeding its cost-cutting forecasts and expects a bump in Q4 revenue.

BT ( BT ) said Q2 net profit rose to 613 million pounds ($983 million) from GBP528 million in the same period last year. BT's closely watched earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, fell 4% year-on-year to GBP1.43 billion.

Total ( TOT ) reported a 19% drop in adjusted net profit in Q3.

Novo Nordisk A/S ( NVO ) missed Q3 earnings expectations and made downgrades to its guidance for sales and operating profit.

The FTSE-100 was last down 0.78% at 6,724.51, the DAX down 0.01% at 9,009.19 and the CAC-40 up 0.44% at 4,293.00.



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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: ALU , BT , BUD , NVO , TOT

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