UK markets closed

LIVE MARKETS-Opening snapshot: searching for direction

* European shares stabilise after sell-off on trade angst * STOXX 600 up 0.3%, DAX up 0.5% * Asian shares ease as U.S.-China standoff spreads * Solid update lifts food deliverer, GVC gains Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Danilo Masoni. Reach him on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: OPENING SNAPSHOT: SEARCHING FOR DIRECTION (0731 GMT) Selling pressure has indeed stabilised but Europe was lacking a bit of direction at the open with the STOXX 600 trading just around parity in early deals and sectoral indexes showing muted moves. The major indices are now gaining some momentum, with Germany's DAX up 0.5% and the STOXX 600 up 0.3%, but investors are staying on the sidelines ahead of the start of another round of high level trade talks between the U.S. and China tomorrow and there is little hope of any breakthrough. There are some bright spots in earnings, however, with Dutch online food delivery company reporting an 87% increase in third-quarter orders. Its shares are up 3% to the top of the STOXX and UK peer Just Eat, which is merging with the company, is also supported. GVC is gaining 2.6% after the Ladbrokes-owner raised its full-year core earnings forecast for the second time in three months, as betting shops proved resilient despite tighter regulation and online gambling rose. Here's your earnings snapshot: (Danilo Masoni) ***** WHAT'S ON OUR RADAR AT THE OPEN (0702 GMT) European shares are expected to stabilise this morning, although worries over mounting tensions between Washington and Beijing ahead of high level talks persist, likely limiting any gains, as the outlook for earnings growth deteriorates further. After main regional benchmarks suffered losses of around 1% on Tuesday, futures on main European indexes are trading between a rise and a fall of around 0.1%. According to the latest I/B/E/S Refinitiv data, European companies are expected to report a 3% drop in Q3 earnings, worse than the 2.2% fall expected a week ago. That fall would be the third in a row, prolonging an earnings recession in Europe. Shares in Plastic Omnium are expected to be heavily hit after the plastic processing group with business in the automotive and environment sectors cut its FY operating margins target. Dealers expects the shares to open down 3-10%. Elsewhere in results the picture is not so bad. A solid update from, which reported an 87% increase in Q3 orders, is set to lift shares in the online food delivery company with a positive read-across for UK's Just Eat. Takeaway is in the process of merging with the UK company. Good-looking updates also from Cropenergies, GVC, Codemaster and OMV, all seen rising at the open. In another sign of how Hong Kong tensions are taking their toll on the luxury industry, a Daily Telegraph report that Burberry is braced for 100 million pound ($122 million) hit to sales from the protests in the former British colony are seen sending its shares down 1% at the start. After the market close today, LVMH will report its own update. Meanwhile, China's state media criticised the iPhone maker Apple for an app used by Hong Kong protesters. That has weighed on Apple suppliers in China and could also dampen the mood for European names such as ams and Dialog Semi. Other stock movers: Kingfisher names Bernard Bot as finance chief; Renault to start search for new CEO - Le Figaro; Italian prosecutors seek trial for BT Italy, former execs in fraud case; EDF’s Flamanville nuclear plant faces 1.2 bln euros in added costs; GSK recalls popular heartburn drug Zantac globally after cancer scare (Danilo Masoni) ***** EUROPE'S SELL-OFF SEEN CALMING DOWN (0530 GMT) After trade and Brexit angst caused heavy and widespread losses, European shares are set to stabilise somewhat this morning, with spreadbetters pointing to slight gains at the open. Sentiment however remains fragile with shares in Asia falling the most in a week amid little signs that the dispute between Washington and Beijing could come to an end. "Escalating tensions between the US and China painted the equity markets in red, as investors finally surrendered to the idea that the US-China talks may not lead to a deal at this week’s high-level negotiations," says Ipek Ozkardeskaya, analyst at LCG. The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 1.1% yesterday. Spreadbetters at IG expect London's FTSE to open 23 points higher at 7,166, Frankfurt's DAX to open 28 points higher at 11,999, and Paris' CAC to open 21 points higher at 5,477. (Danilo Masoni) ***** ($1 = 0.8194 pounds) (Reporting by Danilo Masoni, Joice Alves, Josephine Mason, Julien Ponthus and Thyagaraju Adinarayan)