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LIVE MARKETS-Banks battered on big earnings day

* European shares flat before Fed meeting * Fiat Chrysler and PSA confirm tie-up talks, stocks rally * Bank earnings in focus: DB, CS, StanChart, Santander * Fed seen cutting rates, focus on policy outlook Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Julien Ponthus. Reach him on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: rm:// BANKS BATTERED ON BIG EARNINGS DAY (1240 GMT) Is there any hope for banks? If you looked at their performance today when banks of the size of Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Santander have reported their latest updates, you'd probably say no. Europe's banking index is leading sectoral fallers, tumbling 1.7% and set for its worst day in four weeks. The drop may instil doubt into those who anticipated that low valuations could help investors turn a blind eye on the mounting rate headwinds facing the sector -- key in this respect will be what the Fed will say about policy outlook later today . But let's move with order and give an overview on top bank fallers post-results and what analysts had to say. * Deutsche Bank (-6%): "While Deutsche Bank flags it is 'on track' for cost targets, we see absolute trends in adjusted profit before tax as still disappointing and likely to do little to help the shares even at the current low valuation" - CS * Credit Suisse (-2%): "The outlook remains generic but is in our view rather cautious not only for Q4 but also 2020 and 2021" - UBS * Santander (-4%): "Santander remains confident on delivery efficiency gains but we remain concerned that consensus may be too optimistic on provision outlook. Core Spanish revenue trends continue to drift while market questions around capital are likely to remain" - Jefferies But there's a bright spot: * Standard Chartered (+3%): "Standard Chartered... has materially exceeded expectations with a revenue-led beat. Unsurprisingly, the outlook statement strikes a cautious tone, but we are encouraged by the Q3 performance". - Investec In this chart you see how bank valuations have fallen to levels last seen in 2016, on a price to book metric. (Danilo Masoni) ***** WE'RE UNLIKELY TO SEE A REPEAT OF LATE 2018 ROUT (1144 GMT) So far we haven't seen any signs of a repeat of last year's fourth-quarter rout that instilled fear that the bull market was coming to an end. "They (investors) seem to be worried about a repeat of the painful de-risking seen in November and December last year, but we believe it is unlikely to materialise," Barclays equity strategists led by Emmanuel Cau say in a note. The deeply unloved rally continues and Cau says hedge funds have reduced their equity shorts but are not net long yet while exposure to bonds is still crowded. "Investors' dislike of equities lowers the odds of another episode of painful year-end derisking and suggests the bar for positive surprises is not high." On rotation, Barclays says value rotation could get fresh legs to run if activity momentum stabilises and central banks do not surprise on the dovish side anymore. Here's a chart on high 2020 earnings expectations and market's de-risking in late 2018, when 2019 expectations came of rails: (Thyagaraju Adinarayan) ***** UK HOUSEBUILDERS ON ELECTION WATCH (0945 GMT) So now we have an election date -- Dec. 12 -- and housebuilders are among the sectors that could be affected. Liberum has taken a look and how the industry fared in the run up to the past voting rounds and crossing that with current indications from polls showing a Tory majority win, concludes there might be an opportunity here for investors. "If history is a guide we should expect the housing market to slow in the run-up to the announced general election, but if the opinion polls and bookmakers are correct, the housebuilders shares could outperform if a Conservative victory is the outcome," analyst at Liberum say. "It is difficult to see a clear picture in how housebuilders' shares perform immediately before or after a general election, although we do note that the sector performed well during the 2015 and 2017 elections won by the Conservatives," they add. (Danilo Masoni) ***** OPENING SNAPSHOT: PSA AND FIAT CHRYSLER STEALS THE SHOW (0828 GMT) It's the main headline of the day so it's only fair in a way that PSA and Fiat Chrysler get the spotlight this morning with their shares surging 8.7% and 7.5% respectively. The French carmaker is the top performer on its home turf and same goes for its Italian would-be match in Milan. The brides are well in the race for the top spot on the STOXX 600 . Although both stocks are on fire, they will struggle to catch up Germany's Fuchs Petrolub which jumped about 12% on the back of better-than-expected earnings. It's not only fun and joy in the sector though with Renault, PSA's arch rival, falling 4% as its shareholders are probably getting a big blast of Fomo. What could also curb the enthusiasm for the sector is Pirelli's 5.5 percent fall after the tyre maker cut its guidance. It seems to a good day for France Inc with L'Oreal up 6 percent as it defies the perceived gloom of the Chinese market. The French benchmark is up 0.2%. Plenty of action in the banking sector with Deutsche Bank posting the worst performance of the DAX with a 4% fall after yet another quarterly loss. Bayer on the other hand took the lead for German blue chips, rising 2.5% on solid results. Because the overall market has no clear directional trend yet, here's a look at the top movers on the STOXX 600 instead: (Julien Ponthus) ***** ON THE RADAR: CORPORATE TOP NEWS OVERLOAD (0736 GMT) Futures have opened sideways with no clear directional trend in Europe. What's clear however is that there is such a huge flow of corporate news that it will be difficult to be sure not to have missed anything before the open and the market, which tends to be quite unforgiving these days, gives its verdict. Before getting in the Q3 action, let's first flag out a major piece of news in the auto industry with Fiat Chrysler confirming talks with French rival PSA for a potential tie-up. News of the tentative merger comes as Germany's Volkswagen lowered its full-year outlook for vehicle deliveries, warning of slowing demand. Lots to take in the banking industry too: Deutsche Bank reports 832 million euro Q3 loss on restructuring StanChart flags growth, interest rate headwinds after Q3 profit beat Credit Suisse doubles Q3 net profit Santander Q3 net profit falls 75% as UK charges offset Brazil strength But there are heavyweights across all sectors making headlines this morning so in no particular order, he's the rest of the top news: click here to get it on Eikon: Airbus cuts delivery goal on Hamburg plant snags Record Q3 output boosts Total's cash flow, low prices hit profit Lower oil and gas prices weigh on OMV Q3 profit Bayer says number of glyphosate plaintiffs jumps to 42,700 Clariant Q3 profit and sales fall as economic climate worsens Angry Birds maker Rovio's Q3 profit halves year-on-year EssilorLuxottica confirms 2019 targets after stronger Q3 sales Britain's Next keeps full year guidance after Q3 sales rise (Julien Ponthus) ***** FED WATCHING, Q3 GALORE AND THE XMAS BREXIT ELECTION (0542 GMT) Christmas will come early to the UK this year, precisely on December 12 in the form of a UK general election. It's far from certain however that the polls will deliver anything on Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn's wish list but less than 48 hours ahead of Halloween, investors aren't spooked by the prospect of the process going all wrong. The pound is roughly stable at 1.2870 and according to IG, financial spreadbetters expect London's FTSE to open just 7 points lower, so nothing dramatic there indeed. Frankfurt's DAX is also seen retreating slightly at the open by 25 points but Paris is should be flat. With Wall Street on and off record highs, the Fed's meeting today and the expected interest rate cut will be key, especially after it emerged that Washington and Beijing may not complete their interim trade agreement in time to sign in Chile next month. Amid all that news let us not forget that we are in for one of the busiest day of the Q3 season with a flurry of results such as Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Suez or Total. Last but not least, there will also be a deluge of indicators from the euro zone which should shed more light on whether there is light to be seen at the end of the macro gloom tunnel. (Julien Ponthus) ***** (Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Joice Alves, Julien Ponthus and Thyagaraju Adinarayan)