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LIVE MARKETS-Earnings tracker: financials, cyclicals lead the way

* European stocks rise

* ECB meeting in focus

LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) - Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity

markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Helen Reid. Reach her

on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: helen.reid.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net

EARNINGS TRACKER: FINANCIALS, CYCLICALS LEAD THE WAY (1146 GMT)

With (Other OTC: WWTH - news) such a flurry of results it's useful to take a bigger picture view of this earnings

season, which is showing financials and cyclicals performing well, while currency headwinds keep

European results from shining.

Earnings so far for the STOXX 600 are slightly above initial consensus projections,

according to JP Morgan's Mislav Matejka, but European corporate sales figures are lagging due to

a strong euro.

Earnings numbers in Europe and Japan are slightly softer than the U.S., but still positive.

Matejka notes that the proportion of European beats appears to be improving as we progress

through the reporting season.

In sectors, cyclicals and financials stand out with much stronger growth than defensives.

Credit Suisse (IOB: 0QP5.IL - news) also picks up on this.

"Financials are benefiting directly from higher yields, and valuations suggest that energy

and telecom stocks still have decent catch-up potential," writes the Credit Suisse investment

committee.

The U.S. is strongly outperforming Europe in Q1 sales, largely due to a significant headwind

for Europe from the euro's sharp appreciation - up 15 percent versus the dollar in Q1

year-on-year, notes JPM's Matejka. But he reckons we're at the worst of the currency headwind,

and second-half earnings should look healthier as a result.

Our own data shows that first-quarter earnings growth, in euro terms, stands at 3.3 percent

for the MSCI EMU.

(Helen Reid)

*****

WHEN GOOD AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH: SHELL MISSES OUT ON OIL GAINS (1112 GMT)

Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: 0LN9.L - news) has reported its best quarterly profits in over three years this morning

but that's just not good enough for investors.

A cash flow forecast fell short of investors' strong expectations and sent the shares of the

British major over 2 percent down, a hefty drag for the FTSE given Shell (LSE: RDSB.L - news) 's heavyweight stature

on the blue chip index.

The setback means that Shell is missing out on oil prices rising (the Brent crude oil

futures are up 57 cents at $74.57 a barrel) while its French rival Total (LSE: 524773.L - news) seems

to be smoothly riding that wave.

The French energy company's shares are up 0.9 percent after reporting record high quarterly

oil and gas output and beating profit forecasts.

Here's a chart showing how Shell is missing out in comparison to Total:

(Julien Ponthus and Ron Bousso)

*****

UK EQUITIES FANS, PLEASE FORM AN ORDERLY QUEUE (1020 GMT)

The trend is going mainstream: more and more brokers - today it's Credit Suisse, Monday it

was Deutsche Bank (IOB: 0H7D.IL - news) - are advising their clients to return to the British stock market.

"The UK ranks as the second cheapest major region after Japan", the Swiss bank said in an

equity strategy note this morning, citing a positive macro outlook and its belief that "the

Brexit discount should fall".

Credit Suisse argues that an early general election is unlikely but that there is, however,

a risk that the pound will rise and weigh on British shares.

The broker believes that banks, retail, big cap oils and mining, tobacco and spirits offer

attractive opportunities.

Like it was said at the beginning of the month, the euro zone versus UK trade is becoming

sooo 2017!

Here's Monday's story:

Deutsche Bank joins growing swell of optimism for UK stocks

(Julien Ponthus)

*****

WHAT TO WATCH BEFORE THE EUROPEAN OPEN (0652 GMT)

A timid bounce is in store for European stocks on Thursday as investors’ focus turns back to

earnings, dissipating anxiety over rising U.S. bond yields which had sent the benchmark STOXX

600 to its lowest in a week.

In a crowded field for results, oil majors Total and Royal Dutch Shell stand out with

profits soaring on stronger crude prices and record output.

Deutsche Bank shares are seen falling 2.8 percent at the open after the bank

announced cutbacks to its bond and equities trading in a major overhaul of its troubled

investment bank, after reporting a 79 percent drop in net profit in the first quarter.

"Despite guidance that it expected to be flat to down in 1Q18 depending on the business

area, results are weaker than expected with revenues and costs both missing," writes a trader.

"Key will be the conference call where market will look to question new CEO on his vision for

the bank and how the cuts to the CIB will impact both revenues and costs."

A negative market reaction is also in store for mobile equipment maker Nokia (Milan: 23568.MI - news) ,

which reported a sharp fall in quarterly profit as telecom operators held off spending. Its

shares are seen down 4 to 7 percent.

Bollore Group could suffer further share price losses after French tycoon Vincent

Bollore (Paris: FR0013201365 - news) was placed under formal investigation Wednesday evening in a probe over allegations of

corruption in his West Africa logistics empire. The stock is down 8 percent since Tuesday’s

open, the day news broke that police were questioning Bollore, who is also chairman of Vivendi (LSE: 0IIF.L - news) .

French advertising group Havas (LSE: 0MGT.L - news) , which Vivendi acquired last year, said early on Thursday it

was cooperating with authorities and noted one of its members of staff had been placed under

formal investigation.

(Helen Reid)

*****

FUTURES UP AS HEAVY EARNINGS DAY KICKS OFF (0614 GMT)

Futures for the main European benchmarks have opened flat to slightly higher as investors'

focus turns to earnings. Looks like the move at the open won't be sufficient to recoup most of

yesterday's losses, however, which took the STOXX 600 to its lowest in a week.

Oil majors are a main focus today: Total just reported a consensus-beating rise in net

profit in the first quarter, helped by record output and high oil prices. Shell profits jumped

42 percent in Q1, the highest in over three years.

Here are some further earnings headlines to watch, including Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) and Orange (LSE: 0OQV.L - news) :

French oil major Total's Q1 profits lifted by record production

Sandro owner SMCP's Q1 turnover lifted by thriving China, U.S. fashion sales

Telecoms group Orange's Q1 core operating profit grows 3.8 pct on higher sales

Shell profits soar on stronger oil prices

Philips Lighting (Amsterdam: LIGHT.AS - news) 1Q core earnings miss expectations

Swiss National Bank (LSE: 0QKG.L - news) swings to Q1 loss of 6.8 bln Sfr

Barclays reports better than expected first quarter pretax profit of $2.4 bln

ECB MEETING: NO CHANGES EXPECTED BUT SLOWER GROWTH, TRADE WAR IN FOCUS (0557 GMT)

Analysts broadly expect no big news from today's ECB meeting in terms of changes to policy

or communication, but the Euro zone's weaker economic data, and the impact of a potential global

trade war, will be hot topics Draghi will surely be asked to comment on.

"ECB speakers have put on a brave face recently despite the weaker incoming data," write

Societe Generale (Swiss: 519928.SW - news) analysts. The slower data makes it unlikely the ECB's June inflation forecasts

will be much improved from March.

But the main issue remains "how to anchor interest rate expectations," they add. A wildcard

option would be to express a view on the long-term equilibrium interest rate, but this would

come with communication risks.

On trade wars, the ECB should normally look through a tariff-induced rise in inflation, but

SocGen (Paris: FR0000130809 - news) points out "in a scenario of limited resources and resilient economic activity, possibly

with rising oil prices on the back of geopolitical risks, the ECB would be concerned about the

impact on inflation expectations."

SocGen expects a decision in June/July to extend the asset purchase programme until December

at 15 billion euros per month, and rate hikes in June and September 2019, ending the negative

deposit rate.

(Helen Reid)

*****

RESULTS TO WATCH TODAY (0547 GMT)

Earnings will drive the day in European trading. Roche, the world's biggest cancer

drugs maker, lifted its outlook after first-quarter sales topped analyst estimates.

In less optimistic results, Deutsche Bank announced cuts to bond and equities

trading, overhauling its troubled investment bank after reporting a 79 percent drop in net

profit in Q1.

German forklift maker Kion blamed slower growth for a lower-than-expected order

intake, while network equipment maker Nokia reported a sharp fall in profit as

telecom operators held off spending.

In other news, a judge placed French tycoon Vincent Bollore under formal investigation

yesterday evening over his port network in West Africa. He is suspected of corrupting foreign

public officials and complicity in corruption, his lawyer has said.

Shares (Berlin: DI6.BE - news) in his company Groupe Bollore have fallen 8 percent since the open on

Tuesday, the day police began to question him.

And at 0600 GMT we'll have UK results coming in, with notably oil major Royal Dutch Shell

reporting. After such a run-up in oil stocks recently with crude surging higher, it'll

be interesting to see whether these results deliver, and how the shares react.

Here are some of today's main headlines:

Deutsche Bank announces major overhaul of investment bank

Roche lifts 2018 revenue outlook as new drug sales accelerate

Philips Lighting 1Q core earnings miss expectations

Kion Q1 order intake hit by slower growth, profit rises

Deutsche Boerse (IOB: 0H3T.IL - news) lays out growth plans under new boss

Nokia posts falling first quarter profits

Schindler's Q1 profit rises on strong Asia-Pacific growth

Safran (LSE: 0IU8.L - news) says higher Q1 revenue bolsters full-year targets

France's AccorHotels in talks to buy Movenpick -Le Figaro

Spain's Sabadell Q1 net profit rises 33 pct on lower provisions

Covestro Q1 earnings up on higher prices for foam chemicals

French tycoon Bollore placed under formal investigation in Africa graft probe

(Helen Reid)

*****

MORNING CALL: EUROPEAN STOCKS TO RECOVER ON EARNINGS BOOST (0527 GMT)

Good morning and welcome to Live Markets. The main European benchmarks are called to open

higher today after a pretty hefty fall yesterday, as anxiety over bond yields dissipates

somewhat to be replaced by a focus on earnings.

Wall Street's robust earnings helped quell concerns over the U.S 10-year yield breaching 3

percent overnight, boosting the Dow and S&P 500 as well as Asian stocks, which bounced back from

three-week lows plumbed in the previous session.

Spreadbetters call the DAX 60 points higher at 12,482, the CAC 40 up 23 points at 5,436, and

the FTSE 100 9 points higher at 7,389.

(Helen Reid)

*****

(Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Helen Reid, Kit Rees and Julien Ponthus)