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LIVE MARKETS-Opening snapshot: Europe on backfoot amid Brexit jitters

* European stocks retreat after hitting one-year highs on Tuesday * Investors braced for Brexit news * Roche rallies, ASML falls after results Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Joice Alves. Reach her on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: joice.alves.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net OPENING SNAPSHOT: EUROPE ON BACKFOOT AMID BREXIT JITTERS (0744 GMT) European shares have opened on the backfoot which may not be surprising given the euro-zone benchmark hit more than one-year highs yesterday after the late rally fuelled by fresh Brexit optimism. There are some signs of resilience though as Roche helps lift healthcare stocks and exporters on London's blue chips benefit from the weaker sterling. On the other hand, UK domestic stocks - housebuilders, retailers and banks - are among the biggest fallers on the pan-European STOXX 600 index, hit by a sharp retreat of the pound with investors on tenterhooks for a potential Brexit deal. The STOXX 600 the euro zone index are both 0.3% lower. Roche's 1% gain to near five-year highs is helping lift the healthcare index, one of only three sectors in positive territory. ASML is down 1% and among the top fallers on Europe's blue-chip index as investors lock in profits after its better-than-expected results. Among other individual movers, Signify is leading the charge higher, up 2.7% after the lighting company agreed to buy Cooper Lighting in the United States for $1.4 billion in a bid to grow its footprint in the North American market. (Joice Alves and Josephine Mason) ***** ON OUR RADAR: ASOS, CHIPS AND BREXIT (0701 GMT) European stocks may take a bit of a breather after their late afternoon flurry yesterday amid hopes of a Brexit deal, although markets are likely to be volatile as investors brace for headlines on how negotiations are faring. London stock futures are down 0.2%, dragged lower by the positive sterling, although any positive news on Brexit is likely to push up domestic stocks from housebuilders to banks and may offset gains among exporters. Other major futures are mixed, with the Eurostoxx 50 down 0.1% but off earlier lows. Some better-than-expected results may provide some cheer as investors digest latest forecasts that point to a deepening corporate recession in the region as Q3 kicks into gear next week. Swiss drugmaker Roche boosted its 2019 sales outlook for a third time, helped by rising Chinese revenue, and said it expects to finish its $4.3 billion takeover of Spark Therapeutics this year despite repeated delays. Its shares are indicated to open up almost 2%. Chipmakers may also get a boost from better-than-expected results from semiconductor equipment maker ASML which saw solid demand for 5G telecom network and artificial intelligence applications. Indications are mixed for the ASML stock though, with some traders expecting profit taking after shares hit all-time highs yesterday. In UK retail, ASOS has delivered a set of in-line results and said it's made some headway with resolving its warehousing issues. Dealers see the shares in the AIM-listed stock higher. Key headlines: Royal Mail union votes overwhelmingly in favour of a nationwide strike Wacker Chemie Lowers Guidance For 2019 Atlantia gives conditional green light to investment in Alitalia ASML posts better-than-expected Q3 profit, sees strong bookings Italy's Gavio says open to investing in Autostrade per l'Italia Roche boosts 2019 sales outlook, sees Spark deal this year TomTom Q3 core earnings beat analyst expectations Rio Tinto quarterly iron ore shipments rise 5% on China demand Signify to buy Cooper Lighting from Eaton for $1.4 bln Sunrise shareholder Canada Pension Plan Investment Board backs $2.8 bln capital hike New Swiss A220 jet engine failure forces checks CEO of Britain's Next sells shares worth more than 10 mln stg Britain's ASOS profits slump 68% on warehouse problems Secure Trust Bank sees loan demand slow ahead of Brexit CEO of Britain's Next sells shares worth more than 10 mln stg BRIEF-Housebuilder Barratt Sells More Homes In 15-Week Period, Order Book Healthy BRIEF-Nanoco FY Rev More Than Doubles, Loss After Tax Narrows BRIEF-Russia's Polymetal secures $500 mln loan from Sberbank (Joice Alves) ***** BREXIT DEAL HOPES BACK ON (0537 GMT) Investors have gotten used to headline watching around the U.S.-China trade talks. Since last Friday they've been glued to their screens for any crumb of detail from Britain's last-ditch Brexit talks with Brussels. That's not going to change today, although European stocks may take a bit of a breather this morning following their late afternoon rally yesterday to near three-month highs after a report that the two sides were close to a deal renewed hopes that a long-waited agreement may be sealed this week. Officials and diplomats involved in negotiations over the divorce said that differences over the terms of the split had narrowed significantly. But a lot can still go wrong ahead of a make-or-break EU summit on Thursday and Friday. Concerns about continued political unrest in Hong Kong and the U.S.-China trade spat will also weigh. Euro zone inflation data will also be released today at 0900 GMT, but really Brexit concerns will monopolise investors' attention. CMC expect London's FTSE to open 18 points lower at 7,193, Frankfurt's DAX to open 21 points lower at 12,608, and Paris' CAC to open 11 points lower at 5,691. London's blue chips may suffer from the stronger pound, although as seen yesterday a surge in domestic stocks from housebuilders to banks offset the gains to see the index close flat. (Joice Alves) ***** (Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Joice Alves, Josephine Mason, Julien Ponthus and Thyagaraju Adinarayan)