European markets edge lower amid earnings; Brexit talks conclude; Leonardo tanks 14%

European markets closed down Friday afternoon as a slowdown in corporate earnings spurred profit-taking among investors.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 0.37 percent lower Friday afternoon. While major bourses were in negative territory, sectors themselves were pointing in different directions.

Leonardo was the biggest loser Friday after the firm cut its revenue and profit guidance for 2017. The Italian aerospace and defense company cited a challenging environment in its helicopter business as the prominent reason for sharply reducing its outlook. Leonardo slumped to the bottom of the benchmark on the news, and closed the week 14 percent lower.

Shares of British fashion icon Burberry slipped again Friday, closing down over 2 percent. A string of brokers, including Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan, all cut their target price for the stock after Burberry warned sales would stagnate over the next two years.

With many sectors moving south basic resources stocks led the gains, closing up 0.29 percent. ArcelorMittal posted stronger-than-anticipated core profit in the three months through September and said it was upbeat about 2018. Shares of the world’s largest steelmaker meant that it closed as the second best performing stock on the benchmark, up 3.37 percent.

European banks were the second best performing sector, up 0.29 percent.

Major U.S. stock indexes opened slightly lower Friday, threatening to break multi-week winning streaks. But, earnings from technology firm Nvidia which easily beat analysts’ expectations boosted the sector more broadly.

This week’s two-day Brexit talks in Brussels concluded with the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier urging the U.K. to move faster in its negotiations to leave the group.

There are several outstanding issues, including the size of the U.K.’s divorce bill, that are obstructing further progress being made.

Meanwhile in China, a massive 24-hour shopping extravaganza known as Singles Day has just begun. The event outsells America’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales put together. E-commerce platform Alibaba sold $17.7 billion of goods during Singles Day last year.

Elsewhere, President Donald Trump’s tour of Asia continued to be in the spotlight. Trump flew to a major economic summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, Friday morning, and subsequently pushed his “America First” agenda, saying that “We can no longer tolerate these chronic trade abuses, and we will not tolerate them.” Source: CNBC

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