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LIVE MARKETS-ECB meeting: no changes expected but slower growth, trade war in focus

April 26 - 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

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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)



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 (IOB: 0H7D.IL - news) 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 (Milan: 23568.MI - news) 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 (LSE: 0LN9.L - news)

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 (Amsterdam: LIGHT.AS - news) 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 (Paris: FR0013201365 - news) placed under formal investigation in Africa graft probe

(Helen Reid)



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)