UK Markets open in 4 hrs 28 mins

LIVE MARKETS-Under the flat surface, earnings drive big moves

* European shares mixed at the open

* Last-gasp Brexit deal set to dominate EU summit

* Asian shares pause after 5-day rally

* Ericsson rallies after results, Temenos tanks 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: danilo.masoni.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net



UNDER THE FLAT SURFACE, EARNINGS DRIVE BIG MOVES (0746 GMT)

Renewed concerns over whether we're going to have a Brexit deal this week are keeping investors on edge and unsurprisingly European shares are off to a subdued start.

The FTSE is managing to stay above parity, while elsewhere the picture is mixed. The domestically focused FTSE 250 is down 0.4%, tracking the weaker pound and illustrating the Brexit uncertainty.

Under the flat surface, however, a flurry of earning updates are making for big moves among single stocks.

Ericsson is surging 6% to the top of the STOXX 600 after the telecoms equipment maker lifted its market forecast for this year and its sales target for 2020, saying demand for superfast 5G networks was taking off earlier than expected.

Ericsson's upbeat tone is lifting shares in rival Nokia, while Tele2 is also getting a nice boost, up 4.7%, following a solid update, while still in telco world, Telia is down 5.7% after sales fell short of expectations.

On the downside, Temenos is under heavy pressure. Shares in the Swiss banking software supplier have fallen to April lows, down 16%, following a disappointing update.

Those numbers and weaker-than-expected revenue from IBM overnight are dragging French software companies Dassault, Atos and CapGemini down more than 1% and to the bottom of the Paris CAC 40.

Among the biggest STOXX 600 fallers are UK housebuilders and building materials suppliers, hurt by Grafton's warning on FY results due to weak UK demand as well as the weak sterling.

Underwhelming updates also from Moneysupermarket.com and Faurecia.

Here's your opening snapshot:



(Danilo Masoni)

*****


BREXIT AND RESULTS ON OUR RADAR AT BREAKFAST (0656 GMT)

European shares are set to fall slightly as hopes of a Brexit deal at the two-day summit starting today in Brussels are more than offset by concerns that any accord won't have enough support in the UK Parliament.

These concerns were revived this morning when Northern Ireland's DUP said it could not support the Brexit deal as it currently stands, sending European stock futures down 0.3%, while FTSE futures turned higher as the pound weakened.

Besides Brexit the main focus is the start of the earnings season.

An upbeat note came from telecoms equipment maker Ericsson which posted quarterly core earnings far ahead of market expectations and lifted its 2020 sales target citing a stronger market and currency effects. Traders see the shares opening up 2-3%.

Telia Company posted third-quarter core earnings just above expectations and repeated its forecast for 2019.

Food giant Nestle announced a new share buyback programme of up to 20 billion Swiss francs ($20.1 billion) and a revamp of its struggling water business after organic sales growth slowed slightly to 3.7% in the third quarter. Traders say the numbers were broadly in-line but the size of its share buyback underwhelming.

Growth also slowed for Pernod Ricard, which is being targeted by activist investor Elliott. The French spirits maker posted a 1.3% rise in first-quarter underlying sales, reflecting slower growth rates in China and India.

The numbers fell short of expectations and shares are seen opening down 2%. One trader said Pernod's comments on China may hurt Salvatore Ferragamo and Diageo.

In the same sector, Unilever reported weaker-than-expected third quarter sales, blaming softer demand in India and a slowdown in China, two of its biggest emerging markets.

Meanwhile in autos, car parts group Faurecia kept its 2019 guidance for higher operating profits and margins as it posted an increase in third-quarter sales. Quarterly sales however fell short of expectations and traders are calling the stock down 2-3%.

Traders also said that weak IBM numbers may pressure SAP, Cap Gemini, Atos and Dassault, while United Rentals could hurt Ashtead. Results from TSMC could instead support European chipmakers. Finally, solid Swiss export numbers could lift Richemont and Swatch .

(Danilo Masoni)

*****




IT'S ALSO GETTING BUSY WITH EARNINGS (0552 GMT)

Besides Brexit, investors will also have to digest a number of earnings updates.

On top of this mornings' list so far we have food giant Nestle which announced a new share buyback programme of up to 20 billion Swiss francs after organic sales growth slowed slightly to 3.7% in the third quarter.

Growth also slowed for Pernod Ricard, which is being targeted by activist investor Elliott. The French spirits maker posted a 1.3% rise in first-quarter underlying sales, reflecting slower growth rates in China and India.

Telecoms equipment maker Ericsson instead posted quarterly core earnings far ahead of market expectations and lifted its 2020 sales target citing a stronger market and currency effects.

Still in telco world, we have another solid-looking update. Telia Company posted third-quarter core earnings just above expectations on Thursday and repeated its forecast for 2019.

Meanwhile in autos, car parts group Faurecia kept its 2019 guidance for higher operating profits and margins as it posted an increase in third-quarter sales.

There is more to come later on and we'll keep you updated, while over in the U.S. heavyweights of the caliber Morgan Stanley and Philip Morris are due to report.

(Danilo Masoni)

*****

EUROPE ON THE EDGE WITH BREXIT DEAL IN FOCUS (0533 GMT)

No fireworks are expected at the open today as investors eagerly await that the EU and Britain work out a Brexit deal during a two-day summit in Brussels .

It seems we're really close to the parties coming to a sort of agreement over the UK's Oct 31 divorce from the EU but then Britain's PM Boris Johnson will have to win approval at home by parliament which gathers for a special session on Saturday. And that looks all but certain.

"... the truth is, even if the leaders came to an agreement among themselves, there is only a slim chance for Boris Johnson to find sufficient support in Parliament to give it a green light," says Ipek Ozkardeskaya, Senior Market Analyst at LCG in London.

Spreadbetters at IG expect London's FTSE to open 2 points higher at 7,170, Frankfurt's DAX to open 12 points lower at 12,658 and Paris' CAC to open 4 points lower at 5,693.

Over in Asia, stocks paused after a five-day rally as soft U.S. retail sales data raised fears about the health of the world's largest economy, while Brexit deal hopes kept sterling volatile.

(Danilo Masoni)

***** ($1 = 0.9936 Swiss francs)

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