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Europe Stocks Are Little Changed as Kering Offsets BASF

European stocks were little changed, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index heading for a weekly advance, as companies from Kering SA to Renault (RNO) SA reported quarterly sales that missed projections, offsetting gains in BASF SE. U.S. index futures were little changed, while Asian shares fell.

Kering slid 2.1 percent after its Gucci brand posted the worst sales growth in four years as demand waned in China. Renault slipped 2.7 percent after the French carmaker said weaker currencies in emerging markets cut third-quarter revenue. Volvo AB declined 7.1 percent as the Swedish truckmaker said the strength of the krona and new-vehicle investments ate into profit. Schneider Electric SA fell 3.7 percent after cutting its 2013 targets because of the euro’s rally. BASF rose 1.6 percent after posting better-than-forecast earnings.

The Stoxx 600 decreased 0.1 percent to 320.23 at 10:58 a.m. in London. The gauge has still climbed 0.6 percent this week as companies from Daimler AG to Royal Philips NV posted results that beat analysts’ estimates. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures fell 0.1 percent today, while the MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 1 percent.

“We still haven’t seen confirmation that earnings will accelerate into 2014,” said Lars Kreckel, a London-based global equity strategist at Legal & General Investment Management, which oversees about $702 billion. “Investors are willing to be a little patient if the base case for earnings growth gets pushed out into the next quarter, but the real risk is that you start to worry about an earnings decline. Company behaviour and spending doesn’t seem to indicate that they see a significant recovery.”

U.S. Data

U.S. data today may show orders for durable goods increased 2.3 percent in September after a 0.1 percent gain in the prior month, according to the median estimate compiled by Bloomberg before a Commerce Department report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington.

Kering (KER) dropped 2.1 percent to 169 euros after the luxury-goods maker said third-quarter sales from continuing operations fell to 2.52 billion euros ($3.48 billion). Analysts predicted 2.55 billion euros, according to the median estimate compiled by Bloomberg. Gucci’s sales rose 0.6 percent, less than projections for 2.1 percent growth, and the weakest performance since the third quarter of 2009.

Renault declined 2.7 percent to 66.40 euros. Sales fell 3.2 percent to 8 billion euros from a restated 8.26 billion euros a year earlier, the Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based company said late yesterday. Revenue was less than the 8.5 billion-euro average of six analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Shifts in the Russian ruble, Argentinian peso, Brazilian real and Indian rupee reduced automotive revenue by 5.7 percentage points in the quarter. That amounted to 439 million euros, Chief Financial Officer Dominique Thormann said yesterday on a conference call with journalists.

Carmakers Fall

An index of European carmakers, the best-performing industry group on the Stoxx 600 this year, fell 0.6 percent after closing at a record yesterday.

Volvo (VOLVB), the world’s second-largest truckmaker, declined 7.1 percent to 87.70 kronor, its biggest decline in a year. Earnings before interest and taxes decreased 18 percent to 2.4 billion kronor ($379 million) from 2.92 billion kronor a year earlier, according to a statement today. Profit missed the 3.15 billion-krona average of 12 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Schneider slipped 3.7 percent to 60.96 euros. The world’s biggest maker of low- and medium-voltage equipment cut its 2013 profit and revenue forecasts because of the strength of the euro. The decline of emerging-market currencies will crimp its margins by 0.3 to 0.5 percentage points. Schneider had earlier forecast that margins would not drop.

Electrolux Retreats

Electrolux AB (ELUXB) tumbled 7.3 percent to 160.20 kronor, its biggest decline since Feb. 1, after the maker of ovens and dishwashers posted quarterly profit that missed estimates. Electrolux also said it will cut costs and 2,000 jobs, taking 3.4 billion kronor in related charges in the fourth quarter and 2014.

BASF, the world’s largest chemical maker, rose 1.6 percent to 75.39 euros. Third-quarter Ebit excluding one-time items jumped 15 percent to 1.69 billion euros, beating the average analyst estimate of 1.62 billion euros, according to a statement today.

MorphoSys AG climbed 3.3 percent to 57.58 euros. Ebit for this year may rise to as much as 10 million euros from last year’s 2.5 million euros because of the lower-than-anticipated cost of developing its MOR202 cancer treatment with U.S. partner Celgene Corp. The German biotechnology company had previously predicted profit wouldn’t exceed 6 million euros.

Source: Bloomberg

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