UK Markets closed

LIVE MARKETS-Opening snapshot: Not much relief in the sea of red

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: julien.ponthus.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net



OPENING SNAPSHOT: NOT MUCH RELIEF IN THE SEA OF RED (0845 GMT)

European markets have started the day deep in the red with corporate news providing little relief as the fresh fears on the U.S./China trade war take their toll.

Every major bourse is down at least 0.7% and it's hard to find blue chips to brighten up the overall gloomy mood.

Thyssenkrupp is down over 10% after scrapping its dividend in the face of widening losses and Fiat Chrysler takes a 3.3% hit on General Motors' racketeering lawsuit.

Royal Mail is the top loser on the STOXX 600 with a whooping 16% fall as its turnaround plan gets behind schedule.

British American Tobacco is a rare bright spot, up 5.9%, following good news overnight from the US. Liberum analysts say: "The Fall Unified agenda, which sets the regulatory priorities for the year ahead withdrew the nicotine standard rule... It appears the FDA has bigger fish to fry with the youth e-cigarette crisis"

As you can see below, the top movers in Paris, Milan and Frankfurt are all deep in the red. Same applies to sectors which are all down in unison.


(Julien Ponthus)

*****



ON THE RADAR: THYSSENKRUP, LVMH AND PSA/FCA (0756 GMT)

AS expected, futures are pointing to a lot of red at the open with Germany’s Dax, Europe's popular gauge of trade war greed and fear, suffering the most.

The Energy sector is also expected to be under pressure with oil prices retreating due to the trade tensions.

Fears political risk may hinder growth next year was illustrated this morning by French perfume maker Interparfums blaming geopolitical and economic uncertainties for slowing growth.

While we wait to see if there will be any surprise in the list of companies Labour will seek to nationalise should it win the Dec 12 election, Royal Mail and Severn Trent, already targeted, both published trading updates. The first is seen taking a hit while Severn Trent is expected to rise.

Another big news development for one of Europe’s stock market darlings is French luxury group LVMH entering due diligence with U.S. jewellery chain Tiffany & Co after raising its bid to close to $16 billion.

As a blow to investors hoping for a recovery story, Thyssenkrupp scrapped its dividend after its full-year net loss widened five-fold. Shares are expected to take a 5% hit at the moment.

While the impact (if any) on the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles/PSA planned merger isn’t clear at this point, news that General Motors filed a racketeering lawsuit against FCA, alleging that its rival bribed United Auto Workers (UAW) union officials, may possibly scare off some investors.

Two different outcomes in financial services: CMC Market is seen rising after raising its guidance while Investec could disappoint with lower profits.

(Julien Ponthus)

*****


BRING ON THE "LABOUR NATIONALISATION HIT LIST"! (0702 GMT)

Labour will unveil its manifesto this morning at 11h00 GMT in Birmingham.

The event will be closely watched by investors after last week's surprise pledge by Jeremy Corbyn to part-nationalise BT.

"BT hadn’t believed it was on the Labour nationalisation hit list", Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com commented at the time as the pledge took analysts by surprise.

So whether there will be another surprise target for nationalisation is the multi-billion pound question that on everyone's mind!

Corbyn seeks to reverse privatisations began by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, promising to nationalise rail, mail, water, and BT's broadband network to provide free internet for all.

Coincidence? Royal Mail and Severn Trent both publish trading updates this morning.

Anyhow, in a bid to manage readers expectations, it may be important to stress that given Labour's perceived low chances of being in power post the Dec. 12 election, the "Labour nationalisation hit list" may not trigger crazy market price action.

See Friday's LIVE MARKETS-BT nationalisation: Who cares?

(Julien Ponthus)

*****


MORNING CALL: DOWN WITH THE FLOW (0624 GMT)

No reason for European stocks to be spared from the global pull-back really.

Wall Street and Asian markets retreated sharply overnight amid fears the very much hoped-for "phase one" Sino/U.S. trade deal would be delayed due to fresh tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Financial spreadbetters expect London's FTSE to open 31 points lower, Frankfurt's DAX down 69 points and Paris' CAC to lose 31 points at the open.

"The US-China trade spat has been rumbling on for over one year, and traders are used to the back and forth", commented David Madden at CMC Markets, adding that the latest twist in the saga could be seen as "an excuse to unwind some positions".

(Julien Ponthus)

*****

(Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Joice Alves, Julien Ponthus and Thyagaraju Adinarayan)