European Shares Struggle For Direction Ahead Of ECB Meet

European stocks struggled for direction on Thursday as investors digested mixed earnings updates and awaited the European Central Bank’s meeting later in the day.

The central bank is set to hold its key deposit facility rate at -0.50 percent. No change in monetary stimulus is expected.

At 8.30 am ET, ECB Chief holds a customary press conference after the governing council meeting in Frankfurt.

The pan European Stoxx 600 was marginally higher at 474.13 after declining 0.4 percent on Wednesday. The German DAX dropped 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 eased 0.3 percent, while France’s CAC 40 index was up 0.2 percent.

Shares of Arcadis NV were down almost 10 percent in Amsterdam after the Dutch design, engineering and consultancy company reported weak earnings in its third quarter, despite higher revenues.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, soared 7 percent after lifting its full-year forecast.

Royal Dutch Shell lost 3.3 percent in London after it missed quarterly profit estimates.

BP Plc declined 2 percent and TotalEnergies SE fell 1.5 percent as oil extended overnight losses on data showing in build in U.S. crude inventories.

British advertising agency WPP jumped 5.5 percent after raising its 2021 guidance
Travis Perkins lost 3.8 percent. The building materials supplier said it was navigating the “well-documented supply chain and cost inflation challenges very capably”.

Restaurant Group fell 2.6 percent after naming former Cadbury and Avis Europe executive Ken Hanna as its next chairman.

German carmaker Volkswagen lost 3.2 percent. The company lowered its forecast for deliveries to customers after reporting a decrease in operating profits for the third quarter due to the global chip crunch.

Airbus gained 1.6 percent after the world’s largest commercial planemaker raised its full-year financial targets.

Information technology company Capgemini Group jumped more than 4 percent after raising its 2021 targets.

Beiersdorf gave up 3.7 percent. The Nivea maker said that third-quarter sales rose an underlying 4.3 percent to €1.9 billion ($2.2 billion), shy of some analysts’ forecasts.

German automation company KUKA advanced 2.3 percent as it reported a 26.8 percent growth in 9-month sales revenues, primarily driven by the boom in e-vehicles in North America and conquering new markets such as e-commerce and consumer goods.

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